Research shows that a potential cluster of a mysterious brain disease affecting people in New Brunswick, Canada, may be greater than has been officially reported. published By The Guardian earlier this week. As many as 150 people may have developed unexplained neurological symptoms dating back to 2013, including cases where people became ill after close contact with another victim. But it is unclear whether local health officials will conclude that any of these cases are truly linked, pending an upcoming report expected later this month.
The group’s first public notice is produced In March 2021, when a memo from New Brunswick health officials was leaked to the press I sent for health workers in the area. The memo warned that some people in the area had developed dementia-like symptoms with no known cause, along with rapid weight loss, difficulty moving and hallucinations. Preliminary research has ruled out possible explanations such as prion disease, which can cause similar symptoms. In April, there were 48 cases, including nine deaths Officially recognized It has likely been associated with the group since 2013, and patients tested negative for prions for no other apparent reason.
However, according to the Guardian, there have been many similar cases that have been unofficially documented by doctors. Citing multiple sources, the Guardian reported that there could be as many as 150 cases. In nine of these cases, a person developed symptoms after close contact with another person with the same disease, often while in their care. Furthermore, younger people, who rarely develop these types of neurological symptoms, were identified within and outside the formal group.
“I’m really concerned about these cases because they seem to be developing very quickly,” He said An anonymous employee of the Vitalité Health Network, one of the two county health authorities, told The Guardian. “I worry about them and we owe them some kind of explanation.”
Reportedly, families, as well as some officials and experts, were frustrated by the local government’s investigation into the conglomerate. A Vitalité employee said they came forward to discuss other cases out of fear of the growing number of younger patients and their rapidly diminishing symptoms. They are also concerned that this group is not limited to New Brunswick only.
Cases between close contacts indicate a common environmental factor. And there has been some speculation by experts that β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a toxin produced by blue-green algae, could be the culprit. some previous search showed that lobsters, one of the province’s popular food crops, can carry high levels of BMAA. But efforts by federal scientists to examine the brains of the deceased for BMAA were not authorized by the New Brunswick government, even though the families themselves would like the tests.
Later this month, New Brunswick will release a report on the block, led by neurologists from across the province, but it appears that without to share The neurologist who first discovered these conditions, Alier Marrero. In recent months, local officials appear to be downplaying Marrero’s role in the case studies, and even appear to question the group’s veracity.
In October, a preliminary report was released from other neurologists investigating eight of the deaths I finish which were unrelated and likely caused by other disorders that were misdiagnosed at the time. But other scholars met by the guard they disagree With this conclusion, arguing that the relatively high number of such cases in the same region, along with the younger age profile of many patients, is simply meaningless without an associated cause.
If the government’s upcoming report is as skeptical as many fear, it seems likely that it won’t have the last word on this potential group.