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Why A Toxin Produced By Saltwater Algae May Lead To ALS

A computer generated-simulation has allowed scientists to see how a toxin produced by algal blooms in saltwater might cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Penn State College of Medicine researchers investigated an environmental toxin called β-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) that has been linked[1] to significantly increased occurrence of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in populations with frequent dietary consumption […]

Climate Change Likely To Increase Human Exposure To Neurotoxic Methylmercury

One more item to add to the ever-growing list of the dangerous impacts of global climate change. Warming oceans are leading to an increase in the harmful neurotoxicant methylmercury in popular seafood, including cod, Atlantic bluefin tuna and swordfish, according to research led by the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences […]

Multidisciplinary Study Looks At Effects Of Environmental Factors On Astrocytes

Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed an approach to systematically and simultaneously evaluate the effects of hundreds of environmental factors on the development of neurological diseases. Through a series of investigations, the team has identified environmental factors that boost neurological inflammation, including an herbicide being used in the U.S. that is currently banned […]

Childhood Exposure To Lead May Lead To Lower IQ In Later Life

Childhood exposure to lead could affect adults decades later, a long-term study of more than 500 New Zealand children who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline has shown. The research suggests an association between early childhood lead exposure and a reduction in later life socioeconomic status and cognitive ability. Although the reported effects […]

Activated Microglia Induce Neurotoxic Reactive Astrocytes

Astrocytes, which perform many indispensable functions in the brain, can take on a darker character, destroying nerve cells and likely driving many neurodegenerative diseases, a team led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has found. The study’s senior author, Ben Barres, MD, PhD, professor of neurobiology, of developmental biology and of neurology […]