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Observations placeholder

Amnesic shellfish poisoning



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2010 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2009.09.005. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Domoic acid: neurobehavioral consequences of exposure to a prevalent marine biotoxin.

Grant KS1, Burbacher TM, Faustman EM, Gratttan L.

Domoic acid (DA), the cause of Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning, is a naturally occurring marine biotoxin that is usually produced by the microscopic algae Pseudo-nitzschia. As is the case for other types of toxic algae, Pseudo-nitzschia outbreaks are becoming more frequent.

Acute high-dose symptomology in humans includes vomiting, cramping, coma and death as well as neurological effects such as hallucinations, confusion and memory loss.

Experimental studies and medical reports have collectively shown that DA exposure primarily affects the hippocampal regions of the brain and is associated with seizures and the disruption of cognitive processes. The neurobehavioral signature of DA is unique in that it includes transient and permanent changes in memory function that resemble human antegrade amnesia.

Experimental studies with adult nonhuman primates have established that DA is a dose-dependent emetic that produces clinical and neuropathological changes consistent with excitotoxicity.

Behavioral evaluations of treated rodents have shown that hyperactivity and stereotypical scratching are the first functional markers of toxicity.

Mid-dose treatment is associated with memory impairment and behavioral hyperreactivity, suggesting changes in arousal and/or emotionality.

At higher doses, DA treatment results in frank neurotoxicity that is characterized by seizures, status epilepticus and death in treated animals.

The route of DA exposure is important and influences the severity of effects; intraperitoneal and intravenous treatments produce classic signs of poisoning at significantly lower doses than oral exposure.

While developmental studies are few, DA readily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain.

Domoic acid is not associated with congenital dysmorphia but is linked to persistent changes in motor behavior and cognition in exposed offspring.

Comparative research suggests that functional losses associated with DA can be persistent and injuries to the CNS can be progressive. Long-term studies will be necessary to accurately track the expression of DA-related injury, in health and behavior, over the lifespan.

Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:  19799996

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