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A mysterious disease that strikes the brain baffles doctors


He said a report published by the newspaper The Guardian The British, on Tuesday 30 March 2021, that doctors in Canada fear the possibility of dealing with a brain disease that was not known before, in a series of cases that include memory loss, hallucinations and muscle atrophy.

Politicians in New Brunswick are calling for answers, but with so few cases, experts say there are far more questions than answers, and they are urging the general public not to panic.

Unknown neurological diseases

For more than a year, county public health officials have tracked a “cluster” of 43 suspected neurologic cases, with no known cause.

While residents first learned of the investigation the past few days, after a leak from the county public health agency, it was asking doctors to watch for symptoms similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and potentially fatal brain disease caused by abnormal proteins known as prions.

For his part, said the site livescience A host of symptoms, including memory loss, vision problems and abnormal vibration movements, have raised the alert for the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Monitoring Network. Canadian. Despite initial similarities, the screening has not yielded any confirmed cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

New neurological syndrome

A team of researchers, including federal scientists, is now racing to determine whether they are dealing with a previously unknown neurological syndrome, or a series of unrelated, but previously known, treatable diseases.

Dr. Ali Marrero, the neurologist leading the New Brunswick investigation, says patients initially complained of unexplained pain, spasms and behavioral changes, all of which could be easily diagnosed as anxiety or depression.

But over the course of 18 to 36 months, they began to develop cognitive decline, muscle wasting, drooling, and bruxism. A number of patients also experienced frightening hallucinations, including the feeling of insects crawling on their skin.

Extensive study of the history of the disease

In order to include a new condition in New Brunswick, Marrero and his team conducted an extensive study of the patient’s history, as well as a series of tests that included brain imaging, metabolic tests, toxins and lumbar puncture, in order to rule out other potential diseases such as dementia, neurodegenerative disorders and autoimmune disorders. And possible infections.

While only one suspected case was recorded in 2015, but in 2019 there were 11 cases, and in 2020 there were 24 cases. Researchers believe that five people have died from the disease.

In return, the site said dailymail The majority of cases are associated with the Akadian Peninsula, a sparsely populated area in the northeastern part of the province. The overall number of cases in the area remains low, but New Brunswick has fewer than 800,000 residents.

Meanwhile, health officials refused to reveal the exact locations of the cases.

Field epidemiology

Marrero and his team consulted experts in neuroscience, environmental health, field epidemiology, zoonotic diseases and toxicology, to better understand what could be causing the mysterious disease.

On the one hand, a growing team of researchers is working to determine if there is a common link to the states or any environmental causes, including water sources, plants and insects. The news of the unknown disease raised concern, but experts cautioned against drawing early conclusions.

Where the story also reveals the frustrating truth of medicine, diagnosing a patient may be difficult and a task full of wading from the unknown, and neurologists can often use a number of methods to treat a patient, when the root cause of the disease is unclear, and then suddenly the patient somehow recovers.





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