Ciguatoxin lowers the threshold for opening voltage-gated sodium channels in synapses of the nervous system. Opening a sodium channel causes depolarization, which could sequentially cause paralysis, heart contraction, and changing the senses of heat and cold. The condition is known as ciguatera.
Because they do not cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), ciguatoxins solely affect the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
The major symptoms will develop within a few hours of toxin ingestion: vomiting, diarrhea, numbness of extremities, mouth and lips, reversal of hot and cold sensation, muscle and joint aches. The symptoms may last from days to weeks or even months depending on each individual situation. There is no antidote for ciguatoxin poisoning.
Read more about this topic: Ciguatoxin
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