Saturday, September 22, 2018

Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning

Amnesic shellfish poisoning was first recognized in 1987 as the result of an outbreak in Canada. This outbreak, involving ingestion of mussels from Prince Eward Island, was associated with more than 100 cases and at least four deaths. Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning is the result of an unusual neurotoxic amino acid (domoic acid) that contaminates shellfish.

The domoic acid is produced by a plankton in the genus Pseudo-nitzschia, the first example of a toxin-producing diatom. When shellfish accumulate domoic acid in high concentrations during filter breeding, the toxin can be passed on to humans that eat them.

Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning is characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms and unusual neurologic abnormalities.

Domoic acid is related structurally to the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate. Within 24 hours of eating contaminated shellfish, the symptoms begin: vomiting and diarrhea, severe headache, abdominal pain and a host of neurological problems, including confusion, memory loss, disorientation, seizure and coma.
Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning
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