A research has revealed the presence of BMAA in lakes around Britain. It is said to be a hazardous toxin that can instigate dementia in people.

According to scientists, an algae bloom that grows near the lakes, excretes a chemical which can deter the neurological conditions of people. Alzheimer’s and motor neuron disease, can also be caused due to this toxin. The analyst fear that this chemical is found in seafood as well as different plants, thus deteriorating food chain.

Researchers are further investigating into the matter and have described that if this chemical is the reason behind these diseases, then it will be the first environmental factor. Mostly people who reach old age suffer from Alzheimer’s and it is considered to be the main factor of the disease. Scientists believe that by 2050, one million Britishers would be suffering from Alzheimer’s if the presence of BMAA is one of the causes.

A fisherman fills his cupped palms with water from the algae-filled Chaohu Lake in Hefei, Anhui province. Image Source: www.ibtimes.co.uk

A fisherman fills his cupped palms with water from the algae-filled Chaohu Lake in Hefei, Anhui province.
Image Source: www.ibtimes.co.uk

According to a recent study, monkeys were provided with bananas, which had been injected with BMAA. It was seen that within 5 months, all monkey’s brains worked abnormally. They had similar tangles in their brains as an earlier study showed in people. Some people in Guam island had died of a disease similar to Alzheimer’s known as ALS/ PDC.

Certain foods like French mussels, oysters and Portuguese cockles all contain BMAA. The water from 12 lakes and reservoirs within UK, Wales and Scotland was tested. All the samples had BMAA in it. There are several people living in villages, who eat flour that is made out of cycad plants. Out of every four people, one is identified with Parkinson’s disease.

Professor Cox, who is trying to find an anti-HIV medicine said, knowing BMAA as a cause of Alzheimer’s and MND, is a very troubling news. The plaques that were found in monkey’s brains are similar to that of patients of Alzheimer’s first stage.

He mentioned, “We are not asserting that monkeys were fed with the toxin to create Alzheimer’s. The brain activity seen in monkeys was different than the Alzheimer’s patients have. But BMAA, can be a factor which can trigger in some people, therefore it needs to be looked into carefully.”

It is noticed that about 25% people who live near lakes, have a higher risk of getting MND, as compared to others.

A study carried out in 2008, showed that the water from 12 different locations in UK, was rich in BMAA. Scientists are confused if BMAA can affect every human being or just people who are living in such environments.

On Saturday, Doctor Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s research UK described that, BMAA components contribute to main characteristics of neuro-degenerative illness. BMAA can cling to our cells as proteins and can develop such diseases. The number of neurological diseases in UK is increasing day by day.

It is necessary to keep the people safe from such diseases by identifying the presence of the toxin and using preventive measures. All water reservoirs must be tested for BMAA. Such algae blooms must be removed from the environment, so it doesn’t contaminate the seafood any further.