The latest twist in a more than 60-year-old medical mystery suggests
a brain toxin once thought to be a threat only to a handful of western Pacific
populations may be a ubiquitous environmental hazard.
The provocative finding suggests that β-N -methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxin produced by blue-green algae and implicated
in the development of severe neurodegenerative disease in a few populations,
might play a broader role in the development of Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson disease (Cox et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:5074-5078).
Kuehn BM. Environmental Neurotoxin May Pose Health Threat. JAMA. 2005;293(20):2460-2462. doi:10.1001/jama.293.20.2460