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Toxins 2018, 10(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10030103

Repeated Dietary Exposure to Low Levels of Domoic Acid and Problems with Everyday Memory: Research to Public Health Outreach

1
Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
2
Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
4
Environmental and Fisheries Sciences Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
5
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Outreach to Prevention of Aquatic Toxin Exposure)
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Abstract

Domoic Acid (DA) is a marine-based neurotoxin. Dietary exposure to high levels of DA via shellfish consumption has been associated with Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning, with milder memory decrements found in Native Americans (NAs) with repetitive, lower level exposures. Despite its importance for protective action, the clinical relevance of these milder memory problems remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether repeated, lower-level exposures to DA impact everyday memory (EM), i.e., the frequency of memory failures in everyday life. A cross-sectional sample of 60 NA men and women from the Pacific NW was studied with measures of dietary exposure to DA via razor clam (RC) consumption and EM. Findings indicated an association between problems with EM and elevated consumption of RCs with low levels of DA throughout the previous week and past year after controlling for age, sex, and education. NAs who eat a lot of RCs with presumably safe levels of DA are at risk for clinically significant memory problems. Public health outreach to minimize repetitive exposures are now in place and were facilitated by the use of community-based participatory research methods, with active involvement of state regulatory agencies, tribe leaders, and local physicians. View Full-Text
Keywords: harmful algal blooms; Domoic acid; pseudo-nitzchia; everyday memory; environmental public health; Native American health; Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning; Domoic acid neurotoxicity harmful algal blooms; Domoic acid; pseudo-nitzchia; everyday memory; environmental public health; Native American health; Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning; Domoic acid neurotoxicity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Grattan, L.M.; Boushey, C.J.; Liang, Y.; Lefebvre, K.A.; Castellon, L.J.; Roberts, K.A.; Toben, A.C.; Morris, J.G. Repeated Dietary Exposure to Low Levels of Domoic Acid and Problems with Everyday Memory: Research to Public Health Outreach. Toxins 2018, 10, 103.

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