Toxic Puzzle – New Film


Swimming in toxic soup of cyanobacteria (“B.lue-green algae”) in the Baltic Sea. Photo André Maslennikov

Scandinature Films has now started the production of Toxic Puzzle – Hunt for the Hidden Killer, a documentary film that follows ethnobotanist Paul Cox in his quest for a cure for ALS and possibly also other neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson’s.

Alzheimer, Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS and Parkinson’s are all diseases caused by destruction of the brain and nervous system of our bodies. The diseases are on the increase. Are some of the smallest organisms on Earth destroying our brains? Due to pollution from agriculture and cities, add climate change, algae grow more than ever. It’s an ecological catastrophe. Is this also becoming a serious health scare? Toxic blooms now occur in the Great Lakes, New England waters, in the Baltic Sea and in many other places around the world. Higher numbers of ALS in the same regions are cause for concern. Are the toxins produced by cyanobacteria to blame? Is there a potential cure?

TOXIC PUZZLE is produced by award-winning Scan­dinature Films’ director Bo Landin. The film follows scientist Paul Cox on a quest to learn more about toxic substances produced by cyanobac­teria, and how these substances affect our human health. We will meet patients pinning their last hope to Paul Cox and his team of doctors trying to find the cure in time. In expeditions to forests in Guam, lakes in New England, along the shores of Lake Erie and coastal villages in Europe we will meet local people and researchers sharing in their experiences – expressing their opinions, fears and hopes. Harvard Ph.D. Paul Alan Cox has spent the last three decades searching for new medicines by studying patterns of wellness and disease in remote islands of the Pacific and Asia. For these efforts, TIME magazine named Cox one of 11 “Heroes of Medi­cine.” Since 2006 he has his laboratory and base in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With a state-of-the art laboratory in Jackson Cox has assembled a team of researchers who are working tirelessly to find and fight causes of disease and to search for new cures from plants. The group has developed techniques to detect the toxic substance BMAA at extremely low concentra­tions in water supplies and human tissues. If BMAA does indeed serve as an environmental trigger for sporadic ALS, the research will help identify those individuals who are vulnerable to the cyanobacterial toxin. Now they think they can link the increased incidence of ALS and neurodegenerative diseases worldwide to BMAA, thus heading down a path to find a cure! The film will be shot around the world, i.e. in the USA, Sweden, France, Italy, Qatar, Japan and Guam. Other places will be included as well.

We hope to launch a campaign to raise additional production money for the film. We need your support! Look for TOXIC PUZZLE – Hunt for the Hidden Killer.

Read more about this project at the project’s web site.