Mushrooms and a strange medical cold case in Savoie


INVESTIGATION – Researchers hypothesize that false morels, poisonous mushrooms banned for sale, could be at the origin of a cluster of cases of Charcot disease, a dreaded neurodegenerative disease.

Medicine also has its “cold cases”, those unsolved cases in which the culprit continues to run. The town of Bellentre, in Savoie, has offered him one for more than twenty years: around fifteen cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or “Charcot’s disease”) have been identified since the 2000s in this mountain town of 900 inhabitants. , while the incidence is usually only 2.5 cases per year per 100,000 inhabitants. Researchers have just found a potential culprit: Gyromitra esculenta, the false morel, a mushroom banned for sale in France since 1991 but still consumed in some regions. They publish in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.

It all started in 2009: a general practitioner from Bellentre was surprised to diagnose for the third time in less than ten years this rare neurodegenerative disease, in which the death of motor neurons leads to paralysis of the muscles involved in voluntary motor skills and leads to

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