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Cognitive Effects of Konzo

Cognitive Effects of Konzo Konzo, an irreversible neuromotor disorder in children that has been linked to ingestion of bitter cassava root, a staple food in sub-Saharan Africa, also undermines cognitive function, even in those with no physical symptoms of the disease, report researchers from Michigan State University, East Lansing (Boivin MJ et al. Pediatrics. 2013;131[4]:e1231-e1239). (Photo credit: Giulio Napolitano/FAO) Improperly prepared bitter cassava root has been linked to a neuromotor disorder called konzo and also may impair cognitive function. Cyanide in bitter cassava root is degraded when properly prepared. But shortcuts in preparation that are often taken in times of war and famine can cause outbreaks of konzo, which causes gait and movement abnormalities. (Konzo means “tired legs” in the Yaka language.) The researchers administered cognitive tests to children with konzo from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to children from the same area who did not show signs of the disease but who had elevated levels of cyanide in blood and urine samples. The children with konzo scored lower on memory and problem-solving tests than did those without konzo. However, both groups had problems with memory and visual-spatial processing when compared with a control group of children from communities not affected by the disease. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Cognitive Effects of Konzo

JAMA , Volume 309 (19) – May 15, 2013

Cognitive Effects of Konzo

Abstract

Konzo, an irreversible neuromotor disorder in children that has been linked to ingestion of bitter cassava root, a staple food in sub-Saharan Africa, also undermines cognitive function, even in those with no physical symptoms of the disease, report researchers from Michigan State University, East Lansing (Boivin MJ et al. Pediatrics. 2013;131[4]:e1231-e1239). (Photo credit: Giulio Napolitano/FAO) Improperly prepared bitter cassava root has been linked to a neuromotor disorder called konzo and...
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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.2013.4960
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Konzo, an irreversible neuromotor disorder in children that has been linked to ingestion of bitter cassava root, a staple food in sub-Saharan Africa, also undermines cognitive function, even in those with no physical symptoms of the disease, report researchers from Michigan State University, East Lansing (Boivin MJ et al. Pediatrics. 2013;131[4]:e1231-e1239). (Photo credit: Giulio Napolitano/FAO) Improperly prepared bitter cassava root has been linked to a neuromotor disorder called konzo and also may impair cognitive function. Cyanide in bitter cassava root is degraded when properly prepared. But shortcuts in preparation that are often taken in times of war and famine can cause outbreaks of konzo, which causes gait and movement abnormalities. (Konzo means “tired legs” in the Yaka language.) The researchers administered cognitive tests to children with konzo from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to children from the same area who did not show signs of the disease but who had elevated levels of cyanide in blood and urine samples. The children with konzo scored lower on memory and problem-solving tests than did those without konzo. However, both groups had problems with memory and visual-spatial processing when compared with a control group of children from communities not affected by the disease.

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: May 15, 2013

Keywords: manihot esculenta,child,mental processes,cyanides,cognitive ability,gait,africa south of the sahara,democratic republic of the congo,michigan,leg,memory,pediatrics,problem solving

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