ALS Cases Caused By Blue-Green Algae

by | Jun 7, 2009 | Environment News, Viruses & Bacteria News | 2 comments

CyanobacteriaDoctors and scientists at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire have stated that cases of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, are twenty five times higher for people who live around Mascoma Lake than the norm. They have linked these local occurrences of the fatal neurodegenerative disease to cyanobacteria, single-celled organisms—often referred to as blue-green algae—found in lakes and ponds that release harmful neurotoxins and can trigger ALS in people with a genetic susceptibility.

According to this article, irresponsible human behavior such as “dumping of sewage and other pollutants, including yard waste such as grass clippings” and “nitrogen and phosphorous, which come from runoff created by development” are believed to trigger the proliferation of cyanobacteria blooms.

Ritchie C. Shoemaker, MD ( a biotoxin illness specialist who practices in Pokomoke, Maryland, includes cyanobacteria illness in his book Mold Warriors. In the book, he details how the body gets sick from biotoxins like this algae, and how to recover. He also provides information on how to test for genetic susceptibility to cyanobacteria, which can be done with a simple blood test.


  • Earthwalker

    Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.


  1. sue

    shouldn’t the sell of blue green algae by the Health stores be banned ?

  2. earthwalker

    Sue, that’s a really good point. However blue-green algae is considered a superfood so maybe there are different strains, some beneficial and others toxic. I can’t tolerate blue-green algae myself.

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