Toxin Risk: Scientists Found Alzheimer’s Plaques in the Brain of Dolphins

There’s a new study that showed the discovery of the beta-amyloid plaques into the brains of stranded dolphins, which is the same plaque that’s associated with the Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This comes as a link in the association between toxic cyanobacterial blooms and Alzheimer’s risk. However, there are still not enough pieces of evidence to see if this toxin is dangerous for humans, or not.

Some of the past studies have shown a connection between dietary exposure to BMAA, a cyanobacterial toxin, and neurofibrillary tangles and beta-amyloid plaques. However, this was only found in mice. This new study shows something similar in wild dolphins from the Gulf and Massachusetts.

The areas that have coastal waters, like Florida, has had a growing number of cyanobacterial blooms in the past few years. It’s a result of the warming waters, and they last longer than past blooms. This situation increases the exposure of the marine life to the toxins that are produced by the cyanobacteria.

The fact that they found out the BMAA above cyanobacterial toxin in the brains of the dolphins is crucial. It’s not clear if the Dolphins have experienced any cognitive changes that could’ve led to them being dead on the beaches.

What are we dealing with, exactly?

However, we still have one question: the exposure to the cyanobacteria toxins can lead to an increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in humans? Scientists don’t know this for sure. However, these pieces of evidence show the need for humans to be cautious when it comes to exposure, until we know for sure what we’re dealing with.

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Meagan Kozlovs

About the Author: Meagan Kozlovs

Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto  and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.

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