A mystery brain disease baffles doctors in Canada after recording 43 cases of neurological disease in New Brunswick without any known cause.
According to BBC News, one of those infected people was Roger Ellis who suddenly collapsed at home with a seizure during his 40th wedding anniversary almost two years ago.
Ellis was in his 60s who had been healthy and enjoying his retirement until that June. His son, Steve Ellis, said that his father's health rapidly declined since the day he collapsed.
Roger experienced hallucinations, weight loss, aggression, and repetitive speech. Steve narrated that there was even a time when Roger was not able to walk.
He was brought to the hospital in three months and was tested for possible Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), but his tests came back negative. He was tested further, but doctors cannot seem to find the cause. Steve said the medical team did their best to alleviate his father's symptoms, but they still do not know its cause.
Mystery Brain Disease In New Brunswick, Canada
Dr. Alier Marrero, the neurologist leading the investigation in New Brunswick, said that doctors first came across a mystery brain disease in 2015 when they described it as an "isolated and atypical case."
But after that, doctors have recorded more patients exhibiting similar symptoms. This led doctors to identify the cluster of mystery brain disease cases as a condition or syndrome never seen before.
According to The Guardian, doctors warned the public to watch out for symptoms similar to CJD, a rare and fatal disease caused by prions. Symptoms could include memory loss, vision problems, and atypical jerking movements.
However, doctors noted that although symptoms of CJD and the mysterious brain disease are similar, those two diseases are not one. Doctors and federal scientists are investigating whether they are dealing with a previously known neurological syndrome or a series of unrelated but known ailments.
Marrero said that those who were infected by the mystery brain disease initially had unexplained pains, spasms, and behavioral changes. Then within 18 to 36 months, they start to develop cognitive decline, teeth chattering, muscle wasting and drooling. While several patients also had hallucinations.
Doctors have ruled out possible illnesses and conducted tests in diagnosing infected patients. They recorded one case in 2015, then 11 cases in 2019, and 24 cases in 2020.
New Brunswick Launches Website To Update the Public
The website went live on April 27, 2021, which contains details known so far about the mysterious brain disease and the range of symptoms that come with it.
It also has the statistics of the cases so far, wherein 49% are men, and 51% are women. Most of these cases are located in New Brunswick's northeast and southeast in the Acadian Peninsula and Moncton.
The province is tracking 48 cases that are between 18 to 85 years old. So far, six people are believed to have already died from the disease.
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