Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Display All Information

Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8796
Title: The association between razor clam consumption and memory in the CoASTAL cohort
Author: Lynn M. Grattan, Carol Boushey, Kate Tracy, Vera L. Trainer, Sparkle M. Roberts, Nicolas Schluterman, J. Glenn Morris
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Harmful Algae
Keywords: domoic acid,coastal cohort,razor clam,consumption,memory

This study represents a preliminary effort to examine the potential impacts of chronic, low level domoic
acid (DA) exposure on memory in the CoASTAL cohort, over the first four years of data collection (Wave
1). Five hundred and thirteen adult men and women representing three Native American Tribes were
studied annually with standard measures of cognition and razor clam consumption (a known vector of
DA exposure) over a four-year period. In addition, a pilot metric of DA concentration exposure was used
which took into consideration average DA concentration levels in source beaches, as well as the amount
consumed. Based upon generalized estimating equations (GEE) analysis, controlling for age, sex, race,
year, education level, tribe, and employment status, findings indicated that high razor clam consumers
(15 or more per month) had isolated decrements on some measures of memory (p = 0.02–0.03), with
other cognitive functions unaffected. The relatively lower memory scores were still within normal limits,
and were thus not clinically significant. The pilot DA exposure metric had no association with any other
aspect of cognition or behavior. There is a possible association between long-term, low-level exposure to
DA through heavy razor clam consumption and memory functioning.

Theme: Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Foci: Provide scientific support to ensure safe seafood for healthy populations and characterize how human activities and climate affect risks from pathogens, chemical contaminants and biotoxins