Sea Lions, Seizures, and Food Safety: What have Pacific sea lions gotten into and does it pose a risk to humans?
By: Thomas Masterson, Editor, MedicalNewsService.com
Before the start of the new year, the nation saw a peculiar subject emerge in the headlines: sea lions getting dementia from eating fish. The news described a strange phenomenon involving sea lions getting severe brain damage, amnesia and epilepsy from consuming fish with high levels of domoic acid, a byproduct of the El-Nino related algal blooms. As the news came out, we stopped short of asking ourselves: don’t people eat fish too? Could sea lions be the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine? After much investigation, a pattern began to emerge suggesting that sea lions are not the only ones in trouble.