Konzo is a neurological condition that is caused by chronic and prolonged exposure to cyanide, a toxic chemical found in cassava plants. The disease is prevalent in rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where cassava is a staple food. Konzo is characterized by a sudden onset of spastic paralysis that affects the lower extremities of the body. The disease affects the motor neurons in the spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness, stiffness, and loss of coordination in the affected limbs. Konzo is often accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation in the legs. In recent years, researchers have made significant strides in understanding the pathophysiology of Konzo and developing effective treatments. One of the most promising therapies for the disease is the administration of thiamine supplements, which can help to counteract the effects of cyanide toxicity and prevent the progression of nerve damage. Other forms of neurological therapy that may be used to manage Konzo include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. These interventions can help individuals with Konzo to maintain their strength and independence, improve their ability to communicate, and enhance their quality of life. Overall, Konzo is a serious neurological condition that can have significant long-term consequences for affected individuals. However, with proper care and management, many people with Konzo can lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

From: Neurobiology

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Editor-in-chief: Zheng Jiang, Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Publication Type: Open Access Journal
Description: The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.