The non-protein amino acid L-α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid (BMAA) has been linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. Its presence in trace amounts in complex sample such as bacterial, plant and mammalian tissue extracts and hydrolyzates makes analysis a complicated process requiring good analytical technique. There are conflicting reports in the literature regarding the presence or absence of BMAA in key samples, but the absence of standardized or validated methods makes comparison of the disparate findings difficult to compare. This critical review will summarize the historic and recent literature, and provide suggestions for improving the methods currently in practice.
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