This in vitro research project will examine the ability of atypical cockle extract to disrupt transmission of electrochemical signals in the central nervous system.
<p>The responses will be compared with responses from known neurotoxic shellfish toxins.
<p>The project examines the ability of atypical cockle extracts to disrupt the transmission of electrochemical signals in rodent tissue slices of the hippocampus region of the brain.
<p>The responses caused by atypical cockle extracts will be compared with responses from known neurotoxic shellfish toxins.
Since June 2001, atypical responses have been observed during the Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) assay used within the UK statutory biotoxin monitoring programme.
<p>These have occurred primarily from cockles from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but also from small numbers of mussels from England and Wales.
<p>Neither the causative agent of this atypical response, nor the nature of its toxic effect, are currently known. This project examines the possibility that the toxicity of atypical cockle extracts may be due to their toxic effect on the central nervous system.
The final report, "<a href="http://www.foodbase.org.uk/results.php?f_report_id=192" target="_new">Investigation of the Putative Neurotoxic Effect of Cockle Extracts Using Extracellular Field Potential Recordings in Hippocampal Slices</a>" is available at Foodbase, an open access repository of the <acronym title="Food Standards Agency">FSA</acronym>.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.