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Runaway algae growth causes neurological problems in people with liver disease

Credits: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Researchers at the Center for Oceans and Human Health on Climate Change Interactions (OHHC2I) leverage their collective expertise in environmental health sciences to uncover additional health problems caused by the overgrowth of harmful algal blooms. Did. Scientists have previously confirmed that people with liver disease who are exposed to these blue-green algae are at increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders. Now, they find that people with liver disease (up to 25 percent of the population) are also more likely to experience neurological problems.

The culprit is a specific microcystin produced by flowers. This toxin invades raw water (lakes, rivers, groundwater, etc.) that provides public drinking water and recreation areas for swimming, boating and fishing.

Consuming contaminated water can adversely affect the gut flora and gut bacteria Immune system And between individuals Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.. In their latest research, Environmental health science Associate Professor Saurabh Chatterjee and his team have discovered that this toxin also causes neuroinflammation, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, and neurodegeneration.

“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat is stored in hepatocytes,” said Chatterjee, whose Environmental Health and Disease Research Institute focuses on the contribution of environmental toxins. Liver disease, Metabolic syndrome and obesity. “This condition can remain benign and asymptomatic for many years before it develops into a full-blown illness. Harmful algal bloom, Can cause the progression of the disease from fatty liver to a much more severe inflammatory condition known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. “

Harmful algae outbreaks are found in both freshwater and marine ecosystems and can grow uncontrollably and rapidly (ie, outbreak) in warm, nutrient-rich, slow-moving waters. .. Due to climate change and human activity, the extent and frequency of these flowerings is increasing around the world. It can grow rapidly, supported by rising global temperatures and abundant nutrients (fertilizers, sewer spills, etc.). It is displayed in a variety of colors (red, green, brown, blue, etc.) and often looks like surface paint or bubbles. water.

“Previous studies have already shown that toxins released from harmful blue-green algae can have a direct effect on the nervous system,” said OHHC2I Principal Investigator and UofSC Environmental Health Sciences at Arnold School of Public Health. Jeff Scott, the chair of the department, said. “This latest groundbreaking study shows that the consumption of toxins from the use of water for drinking and recreational purposes can also affect the brain. It affects only through the digestive tract. increase.”

“Observations in this study are timely and important to understand how cyanobacterial outbreaks induce adverse health effects. Local community “Unfortunately, microcystins and other toxins produced by harmful blue-green algae are regularly part of entertainment and drinking,” said Brian Brooks, a prominent professor at Baylor University and a senior researcher at the Harmful Algal Blooms project at OHHC2I. Despite the water monitoring efforts, the risk of the presence of these pollutants of new concern to people is our notable. ”


Outbreaks of toxic algae are exacerbating, but lack of monitoring


For more information:
Environmental microcystin exposure in Ayan Mondal et al, neuroinflammation, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, and NAFLD-induced exacerbations underlying neurodegeneration is dependent on NLRP3 and S100B. Toxicology (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.tox.2021.152901

Quote: Runaway algae growth was obtained from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-runaway-algae-growth-neurological-problems.html on October 5, 2021 (10 2021). May 5) causes neurological problems in patients

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Runaway algae growth causes neurological problems in people with liver disease

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