Chicago man pleads guilty to neurotoxin stockpiling

A north suburban Chicago man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to posing as a doctor to buy a deadly neurotoxin that comes from sources including puffer-fish, which he intended to use as a weapon.
Edward T. Bachner was arrested in 2008 following an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which resulted in special agents in biohazard suits raiding his Lake in the Hills, Ill., house. The JTTF is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tetrodotoxin results primarily in gastrointestinal and neurologic signs and symptoms. Hypotension, dysrhythmias and even death can occur as a result in severe poisoning.
According to the journal Undersea Hyperb Med, the symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning usually develop within 30 minutes of ingestion but can be delayed by up to four hours. When ingested, symptoms include paresthesia of the lips and tongue, followed by sialorrhea, headache, sweating, weakness, lethargy, tremor, paralysis, reduction in coordination, cyanosis, dysphasia, seizures, respiratory failure and coma. Gastroenteric symptoms can include severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Cardiac arrhythmias can precede complete respiratory failure and cardiovascular collapse.
In severe cases, death typically occurs within four to six hours, though if the patient survives 24 hours, recovery without residual effects can occur over several days.