"Convulsing Sea Lions Along Coast May Hold Clues To Epilepsy"

"Sick and confused sea lions convulsing with seizures are being found in increasing numbers along the California coast, suffering from what Stanford University scientists say is a form of epilepsy similar to the kind that attacks humans.

 The culprit is a neurotoxin found in algae blooms, also known as red tides, that have proliferated lately along the coast for unknown reasons, scientists at Stanford University and the Marine Mammal Center in Marin announced last week in a study published in the Journal of Comparative Neurology.

Besides harming and killing wildlife, the oceanic phenomenon puts humans at risk. As troubling as that may be, medical researchers believe the new findings may help them root out the causes and improve treatments for human epilepsy, according to the study published March 19."

Peter Fimrite reports for the San Francisco Chronicle March 23, 2014.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 03/24/2014