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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid found in the roots of Tabernanthe Iboga (Apocynaceae family), a rain forest shrub that is native to western Africa. Ibogaine is used by indigenous peoples in low doses to combat fatigue, hunger and thirst, and in higher doses as a sacrament in religious rituals. Members of American and European addict self-help groups have(More)
Combining large-scale gene expression approaches and bioinformatics may provide insights into the molecular variability of biological processes underlying neurodegeneration. To identify novel candidate genes and mechanisms, we conducted a multiregional gene expression analysis in postmortem brain. Gene arrays were performed utilizing Affymetrix HG U133 Plus(More)
In contrast to mammalian brain, which exhibits rapid degeneration during anoxia, the brains of certain species of turtles show an extraordinary capacity to survive prolonged anoxia. The decrease in energy expenditure shown by the anoxic turtle brain is likely to be a key factor for anoxic survival. The "channel arrest" hypothesis proposes that ion channels,(More)