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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Alzheimers News
Date: 7 May 1998 08:49:02 GMT

In <> (Mark Thorson) writes:

>In article <>,
>Noah's Dove <> wrote:
>>In "Report Of Treatment Of Alzheimer's Disease With Alphanae
>>Klamathomenon Flos-Aqua" (Journal of Orthomedicine, 1985, vol. VIII,
>>number 1&2) Dr. Gabriel Cousens relates a case of two Alzheimer's
>>sufferers who showed significant positive change after being given
>>"alphanae klamathomenon flos-aqua or AFA, a nutrient rich blue-green
>>algae, for a trial period of one year.
>But what could be in the algae that has an effect on Alzheimer's?
>This species of algae is known to produce high levels
>of anatoxin-a.  Here's an interesting quote about anatoxin-a
>with regard to Alzheimer's.
>Quoting from _The_Journal_of_Pharmacology_and_
>_Experimental_Therapeutics_, volume 259, number 1,
>"Nicotinic Pharmacology of Anatoxin Analogs.  II.  Side
>Chain Structure-Activity Relationships at Neuronal
>Nicotinic Ligand Binding Sites", by Wonnacott, Jackman,
>Swanson, Rapoport, and Albuquerque, 1991, pages 390-391:
>"Such analysis assumes greater urgency with the
>realization that brain acetylcholinesterase receptors
>identified by high-affinity tritiated agonist binding are
>decreased in Alzheimer's disease (see Kellar and
>Wonnacott, 1990), and that nicotine treatment has given an
>encouraging result with respect to cognitive performance
>in Alzheimer patients (Sahakian _et_al_, 1989, 1990).
>Thus, centrally acting nicotinic agents could have an
>important therapeutic future in the symptomatic treatment
>of Alzheimer's disease (see Kellar and Wonnacott, 1990).
>Anatoxin-a is a useful core structure for such drug design
>because, as a secondary amine, it readily crosses the
>blood brain barrier."

    Fascinating.  Now if the damned SBGA people would just admit the
stuff is in their algae, and standardize the algae for it, it might be
worth something.  I can think of all kinds of medical uses for
nicotinics that cross the BBB.  Alzheimers and smoking cessation being
two.  But maybe as chronic fatigue treatments, dry mouth treatments,
memory enhancers, tardive dyskinesia treatments, etc, etc.

   And don't forget it was me who first suggested that anatoxin a
might be the active ingredient in the stuff, and SBGA might not be a
complete scam or placebo.

                                  Steve Harris, M.D.

From: (Mark Thorson)
Subject: Retraction of Anatoxin-a Primer
Date: 2000/04/02
Message-ID: <8c63n5$aq0$>


subject: Retraction of Anatoxin-a

During the last several years, I have
from time to time posted to this and
other newsgroups a file of information
called "An Anatoxin-a Primer."  I
now retract the statements made in the
Anatoxin-a Primer.

The Anatoxin-a Primer implied that
Super Blue Green Algae from Klamath
Lake, produced by Cell Tech, contains
anatoxin-a (a neurotoxin I
characterized as addictive), and that
Cell Tech deliberately avoids testing
for this toxin because anatoxin-a is
responsible for the effects reported
by SBGA users.  I have since been
advised that Cell Tech conducts
regular tests that would disclose
anatoxin-a, and that this toxin has
never been found in Super Blue Green
Algae.  I had no basis for the
suggestions I made in the Anatoxin-a
Primer, and I hereby retract it in

Message-ID: <>
From: Mark Thorson <>
Subject: Presented without comment
Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 05:59:28 GMT

Food Addit Contam 2001 Jun;18(6):525-31
Identification of anatoxins in blue-green algae food supplements
using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
Draisci R, Ferretti E, Palleschi L, Marchiafava C.
Veterinary Medicine Laboratory, Istituto Superiore di Sanita,
Rome, Italy.

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) in tablets and
capsules, which are marketed as health food
supplements, were investigated for the presence
of neurotoxins related to anatoxin-a. These
neurotoxins, which are nicotinic agonists,
were investigated using isocratic micro-liquid
chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry
(micro-LC-MS-MS). The investigated compounds
were anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, together
with their degradation products, dihydroanatoxin-a,
epoxyanatoxin-a, dihydrohomoanatoxin-a and
epoxyhomoanatoxin-a which were synthesized
from the parent toxins. The analytes were extracted
with methanol followed by isocratic chromatography
on a micro C18 reversed-phase column using
acetonitrile-water, 50:50 (v/v), containing 20 mm
acetic acid at 30 microl min(-1). The toxins were
ionized in an ionspray (IS) interface operating in
the positive ion mode, where the intact protonated
molecules, [M + H]+, were generated at m/z 166,
m/z 168, m/z 182, m/z 180, m/z 182 and m/z 196,
for anatoxin-a, dihydroanatoxin-a, epoxyanatoxin-a,
homoanatoxin-a, dihydrohomoanatoxin-a and
epoxyhomoanatoxin-a, respectively. These served
as precursor ions for collision-induced-dissociation
(CID) and diagnostic product ions for these anatoxins
were identified to carry out toxin confirmation
by selected reaction monitoring (SRM) LC-MS-MS
analysis. Dihydrohomoanatoxin-a and a novel isomer
of epoxyanatoxin-a were identified in blue-green algae
tablets. This finding suggests that a potential human
health hazard could be associated with the consumption
of these food supplements.

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