Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Plot Thickens

Perhaps we need a good, old-fashioned New England mystery writer like Jessica Fletcher to unravel this one.

Let's see... highly increased incidence of ALS but it's not from bacteria in the lake.  So what is it?  Just a fluke?  The air?  The water?  A rare plant?  Something used to build the homes?  The local produce?  The milk?  The local coffee shop?  Something on the newspapers?  Incense at the church?  School bus exhaust?  Something from the dry cleaning?  The carpet cleaners?  Annoying local radio commentators?  Something about the grocery store?  The local eggs?  The soil?  The fish in the lake?  Insects?  Something that the dog groomer uses? 

Suspected clusters are newsworthy.  We must not let them fade from the public view.  They need to be pursued, and they scream for registry data to determine their significance.

In the meantime, does anybody want to buy a lake lot in Enfield, NH?

1 comment:

  1. Where is the skepticism and critical thinking? This is a good example of the misuse of preliminary scientific data looking at the public reaction and concerns generated by a suspected”cluster”. A cluster of nine in the population? How are you measuring the population? Is there a high level of migration/immigration around the lake so the population is not the static number? What percent of the population are pre-disposed? Is this pre disposition higher around lakes? Maybe they are genetically related? Lots of people swim in lakes that don’t just live around the shore. Note that algal blooms are caused by lake inputs that enrich the lake like sewage. Connor (DES) confirms (Union Leader) that sewage has been a problem in the past. Hence what other inputs might have contributed BMAA? Nostoc has been implicated in some of these blogs. This species is probably fairly abundant in NH lakes. What other species of cyanobacteria produce BMAA? Who is looking at those folks that take drink lake water? Perhaps there is another source of natural or pollutant aquatic source for BMAA? Is there a correlation with milfoil in these lakes? Has this milfoil been treated in the last 20 years? Are there synthetic chemicals that are similar to BMAA?