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Neurology. 2002 Mar 26;58(6):956-9.

Cycad neurotoxins, consumption of flying foxes, and ALS-PDC disease in Guam.

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  • 1Institute for Ethnobotany, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kalaheo, Kauai, HI 96741, USA.


The Chamorro people of Guam have been afflicted with a complex of neurodegenerative diseases (now known as ALS-PDC) with similarities to ALS, AD, and PD at a far higher rate than other populations throughout the world. Chamorro consumption of flying foxes may have generated sufficiently high cumulative doses of plant neurotoxins to result in ALS-PDC neuropathologies, since the flying foxes forage on neurotoxic cycad seeds.

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