Question of the Day – Monday January 14, 2019

Question – Konzo is a paralytic disease, prevalent in some parts of the emerging world, associated with dietary cyanide poisoning from the cyanogenic plant known as cassava (Manihot esculenta). Epidemiologic studies have shown which groups to be most likely to be affected by this disorder?

Answer- The cited article notes “A number of epidemiological studies have shown that the disease mainly affects children and women of childbearing age—mostly those with poor dietary intake of animal protein, a major source of sulfur amino acids needed to provide sulfur for the detoxification of cyanide. Whether the greater susceptibility of children or women is explained by factors other than poor nutrition is still unknown.” (Tshala-Katumbay DD et al. Cyanide and the human brain: Perspectives from a model of food (cassava) poisoning. 2016 Ann NY Acad Sci 1378:50-57)