Mystery of the Seven Deaths

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Mysteryof the Seven Deaths

Symptomsexhibited by most of the patients were headache, vomiting, shortnessof breath and rapid breathing, dizziness, and confusion. Most of thevictims collapsed after taking Tylenol, which is used for reducingfevers and relieving pain. The immediate cause of death was hypoxia(which is the lack of oxygen) damage to lung, liver, kidney, andheart tissue and major mitochondrial death was discovered within theaffected tissues (MichaelaA. Gazdik, 2010).

Acareful analysis of the damaged cells showed that adenosinetri-phosphate (ATP) levels were very low in the mitochondria. Thisshows that there was a malfunction in the metabolic pathways. Ananalysis of the affected cells’ sub-cellular components showed thatthe glucose levels of the average patients were less compared to theexpected normal levels. The NAD+ average levels of the patients werealso lower compared to those of healthy people. That of NADH werehigher almost 4 times those of healthy people. These results indicatea malfunctioning of the electron transport chain (MichaelaA. Gazdik, 2010).

Themalfunctioning of the electron transport chain might be caused byfood poisoning, and a blood test of all the poisons that might affectthe electron transport showed that it was indeed food poisoning. Thetest results of all the seven patients were positive for cyanide. Byirreversibly binding to the electron transports’ cytochrome oxidase(CcOX), it prevents electron to be transferred to oxygen which is thefinal electron acceptor (MichaelaA. Gazdik, 2010).

Thesource of cyanide poison must have been the Tylenol taken by thevictims. The Tylenol Extra-Strength capsules, must have been lacedwith cyanide. A similar case was reported in 1982 where the drug waslaced with 65 milligrams of cyanide and seven people died (Fernando,2009).


Fernando,A. C. (2009). CorporateGovernance: Principles, Policies and Practices.Pearson Education India.

MichaelaA. Gazdik. (2010). The : A Case Study inCellular Respiration. NationalCenter for Case Study Teaching In Science.Retrieved from