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Recent studies demonstrate that most cyanobacteria produce the neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and that it can biomagnify in at least one terrestrial food chain. BMAA has been implicated as a significant environmental risk in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Amyotrophic(More)
OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to screen for and quantify the neurotoxic amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in a cohort of autopsy specimens taken from Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease (HD), and non-neurological controls. BMAA is produced by cyanobacteria found in a variety of freshwater,(More)
Alpha-synuclein is a presynaptic protein that has been implicated as a possible causative agent in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. The native protein is a major component of nigral Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease, and full-length alpha-synuclein accumulates in Lewy neurites. Here we present evidence that alpha-synuclein levels are elevated in(More)
Dopaminergic transmission has been suggested to be a primary mechanism mediating reinforcement, withdrawal and craving associated with psychostimulant addiction. Pyscho-stimulants attenuate dopamine transporter (DAT) clearance efficiency, resulting in a net increase in synaptic dopamine levels. Re-uptake rate is determined by the number of functional DAT(More)
Ibogaine is a naturally occurring compound with purported antiaddictive properties. When administered to primates, ibogaine is rapidly o-demethylated to form the metabolite 12-hydroxyibogamine (noribogaine). Peak blood levels of noribogaine exceed those of ibogaine, and noribogaine persists in the bloodstream for at least 1 day. Very few studies have(More)
Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial(More)
Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid that possesses potential as an agent to treat opiate and cocaine addiction. The primary metabolite arises via O-demethylation at the 12-position to yield 12-hydroxyibogamine. In this report, evidence is presented that the O-demethylation of ibogaine observed in human hepatic microsomes is catalyzed primarily by the(More)
Direct protein interactions between the dopamine transporter and alpha-synuclein demonstrate that dopamine uptake function is modulated by alpha-synuclein. We report here that chronic cocaine abuse results in an increase in alpha-synuclein expression in the human striatum. Immunoblot analysis in the ventral putamen showed that alpha-synuclein protein was(More)
The chronic effects of cocaine abuse on brain structure and function are blamed for the inability of most addicts to remain abstinent. Part of the difficulty in preventing relapse is the persisting memory of the intense euphoria or cocaine "rush". Most abused drugs and alcohol induce neuroplastic changes in brain pathways subserving emotion and cognition.(More)