Brain researcher on poisonous fish in Norway:

Brain researcher on poisonous fish in Norway:

The dwarf face is a highly venomous fish commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean, but has now been found in the zone in Akter.

Doctor and brain researcher Ole Better tells Helle TV2 that fish venom can attack internal organs if you are stabbed.

Come to Norway

Last Sunday, TV2 was able to tell about the dwarf face of a poisonous fish species that came to Norway.

Probably the warmest water was the one that took the fish to the Norwegian waters. Recreational fisherman Ingun Jostal, who was stabbed by fish, became seriously ill. Jostal tells of severe pain that was hard to describe.

Ingun Jostal was stabbed in the face by a dwarf. Photo: Terje Frøyland / TV 2


Dwarf face toxins consist mainly of the protein neurotoxin tracinin and serotonin. As humans we have protein and we are totally dependent on it. Among other things, protein controls our mood. Problems come when you get too much of it, while the intake of the neurotoxin trochine.

Ole Better Helle, a doctor and one of the country’s leading brain researchers, says the poison cocktail of the dwarf face will hit hard.

Ole Better Helle is a physician and brain researcher.

Ole Better Helle is a physician and brain researcher. Photo: Gorm Rødseth / TV 2

When it comes to the neurotoxin trachinin, the toxin enters the bloodstream and affects internal organs such as the heart and lungs. To a large extent, there are examples of people who died of poisoning and severe side effects, but then they had underlying diseases.

The amount of toxin in fish may not be enough to kill, but it can lead to a reduction in lung capacity for a period of time, he says.

Nerve toxins do not stay in the body for long.

– No, it will be cleansed from the body in a few hours or days, but it can leave damage, Hezelle says.

Side effects are unknown

Another substance in fish venom is serotonin. It is a protein that is present in all people and we depend on it. However, too little or too much serotonin may be important.

– Serotonin protein is precisely what causes severe pain where you are stabbed by fish. When you receive an overdose of this, the brain reacts and sends a message to the place where you were stabbed. You quickly begin to sweat from the cold, fainting and experiencing indescribable pain. Excess serotonin levels stay in the body for a long time, says a brain researcher.

He was unaware of the side effects of this poisonous cocktail.

– Little research has been done on this fish poisoning cocktail and its long-term effects, says Hazelle.

Heat treatment

The best advice from a brain researcher is heat treatment if you are pierced by a dwarf face.

– Get the piercing area in warm water, preferably about 40 degrees. Then the venom glands are neutralized and the pain is less intense. Regular painkillers can also help to some extent. There is no alternative medicine to this poisonous compound, but I think it will not be long before it comes.

Askir Alvestad, a fisherman, discovered fish off the coast of Mandal in September.

Angler Azjir Alvestad with a copy of the dwarf face.

Angler Azjir Alvestad with a copy of the dwarf face. Photo: Trent Solwang / TV2

– I got a note that the species was probably found in the zone, so I went straight there. I got ten pieces in two hours. This is fun for us as ethnic fishermen, but at the same time it is important to warn people against this highly toxic fish of northern Europe, Alvestad tells TV2.

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