Failure to Detect the Neurotoxin Beta-n-methylamino-l-alanine in Samples Collected during an Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM) Epornitic in J. Strom Thurmond Lake
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The neurotoxin -N-methylamino-L-alanine BMAA, which is produced by wide genera of cyanobacteria, has been proposed as a factor in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS, Parkinsonism-dementia complex PDC, and Alzheimer s Disease AD. This compound was previously detected in epiphytic alga and vegetation samples collected from a reservoir with frequent outbreaks of avian vacuolar myelinopathy AVM. The purpose of this work was to evaluate samples of aquatic vegetation with the associated cyanobacterium and waterbird tissues collected during an AVM epornitic and from a novel site. Samples were tested for the presence of BMAA using a recently updated analytical technique, high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry LC-MSMS. Identifying the putative toxin will be important in determining the etiology of AVM and evaluating risks to fish, wildlife, and humans using these aquatic systems.
- Medicine and Medical Research