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University of Miami professor researches health impacts from algae

By Oliver Redsten for Wink News

For many in Southwest Florida, living with algae has become the new normal.

For Cape Coral resident Charlene Borys, it’s become her new nightmare.

“We’re being gassed here with a neurotoxin,” Borys said. “I mean, think about it! This is not healthy!”

Borys has ashthma, and says the fumes from the algae in her Cape Coral canal have left her dependent on a nebulizer.

Her husband has put shrink wrap over the doors and windows in their home to keep the smell out, but Borys says the algae is still having an impact.

“It finally got to where I had to go to the doctor and say ‘what is happening with me?’” Borys said.

Dr. Larry Brand, a professor in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, studies a neurotoxin found in the blue-green algae called “BMAA.”

“And there’s increasing evidence now that it can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and ALSDR,” Dr. Brand said.

Now he’s researching if those same effects can be felt just by breathing in the algae.

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