A Florida doctor claims to have discovered a link between benign intracranial hypertension and aspartame disease - chronic methanol poisoning caused by the use of products containing this chemical sweetener.
Benign intracranial hypertension (BIH) is also known as pseudotumour cerebri (PTC), a little known and often misunderstood neurological disorder that can lead to loss of vision or even blindness.
Dr H.J. Roberts observed six women in their 20s and 30s who were diagnosed with PTC. All were also preoccupied with their weight and consumed considerable amounts of the artificial sweetener aspartame, mainly as diet drinks. He found that their condition dramatically improved when they stopped consuming these products altogether.
The women had experienced a wide range of symptoms, including dizziness, impaired vision, panic attacks and severe headaches. One - a registered nurse - had even gone as far as having lumbar punctures done to relieve the pressure on her brain. PTC causes the brain's nerves to swell, and it's this oedematous swelling that can cause visual and other problems.
None of the women in Dr Roberts' study had taken excessive amounts of vitamin A, steroids or any other drugs that might have brought on the symptoms, only the drinks (Townsend Lett Docs, 2002; June: 96-8).