New Brunswick Cluster of Neurological Syndrome of Unknown Cause
Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, New Brunswick
The Province of New Brunswick is collaborating with local and national subject matter experts and health-care providers to investigate a group of individuals who are experiencing signs and symptoms of a neurological syndrome of unknown cause (NSUC).
At this time, the investigation is active and ongoing to determine if there are similarities among the reported cases that can identify potential causes for this syndrome, and to help identify possible strategies for prevention. The investigation team is exploring all potential causes including food, environmental and animal exposures.
Since early 2020, physicians in New Brunswick have been identifying a number of individuals with an unusual combination of neurological symptoms. Despite extensive medical investigation, a diagnosis for these individuals has not yet been determined.
Local health-care providers in New Brunswick have engaged the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance System (CJDSS) to actively investigate the possibility of human prion disease, but to date, all test results have been negative for known forms of human prion disease. Due to commonalities in signs and symptoms and the lack of a confirmed diagnosis among cases, a cluster of NSUC has been identified.
At the time of referral by their health-care provider, most of the individuals under investigation were living in the southeastern and northeastern regions of New Brunswick, around the Acadian Peninsula and Moncton areas. However, so far our investigation has not found any evidence suggesting that the residents of these regions are more at risk than those living elsewhere in the province.
Canadian health-care providers have been alerted to this investigation and are advised to contact New Brunswick Public Health for further information or to make referrals for individual cases.
Some symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- memory problems
- muscle spasms
- balance issues, difficulty walking or falls
- blurred vision or visual hallucinations
- unexplained, significant weight loss
- behaviour changes
- pain in the upper or lower limbs
Read the full notice here
NOTE: What is interesting with the above symptoms is that they are very similar to symptoms reported in people who were sleeping in close proximity to smart meter radiofrequency emissions. Ref: Lamech F, “Self-Reporting of Symptom Development From Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields of Wireless Smart Meters in Victoria”. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25478801/
Lamech stated that her findings revealed the participants’ symptoms were the same as those reported by people exposed to radiofrequency fields emitted by devices other than smart meters. This suggests that perhaps chronic radiofrequency exposures may play a role in the illness being reported in New Brunswick, Canada. Perhaps RF is not an issue but the possibility needs to be investigated by the medical authorities. The cluster consists of 48 people, mostly living in the same general area of the province , so it should be relatively easy to conduct an RF survey of their homes. Unfortunately however, as Health Canada is a ‘captured agency’ of ICNIRP, it is unlikely that HC would even allow this to be considered.
Add as reported in the Washington Post:
A mysterious, devastating brain disorder is afflicting dozens in one Canadian province
The Washington Post
By Amanda Coletta
May 13, 2021
Now Marreroand scientists and doctors from Canada and around the world are playing detective in a medical whodunit, racing to untangle the cause of the brain disorder that has afflicted 48 people, six of whom have died, in the Moncton area and New Brunswick’s Acadian peninsula.
Those afflicted with the condition – called the New Brunswick Cluster of Neurological Syndrome of Unknown Cause, for now – have ranged in age from 18 to 85. Symptoms began in 2018 and onward for many of them, but one case in 2015 was identified retrospectively last year.
“The suffering is immense … because it’s beyond physical,” said Marrero, who works at Moncton’s Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Center. “There’s also the neuropsychiatric and moral suffering of the patients that is only partially relieved by medications.”
An otherwise healthy 75-year-old woman arrived at the Dumont emergency department last June. For months, she had experienced unexplained weight loss and what she described to her daughter as a “trembling sensation” inside her body. Her legs felt heavy. One arm was shaking involuntarily.
The daughter said her mother is one of the cases under investigation.
“My mother goes to bed at night and questions herself: ‘Am I going to wake up tomorrow, and if I do wake up tomorrow, am I going to be able to walk or talk?'” she said. “Because there’s no answers. Nobody knows anything. There’s no reasoning. There’s nothing.”
Patients experience a constellation of symptoms, Marrero said, usually beginning with atypical anxiety, depression and muscle aches or spasms. They develop sleep disorders, including insomnia so severe that they sleep only a few nights a week or not at all, even with medication. Their brains are atrophied.
Many experience blurred vision, memory problems, teeth chattering, hair loss and trouble with balance. Some, including those in palliative care being administered strong medications, suffer from uncontrollable muscle jerks. Others have rapid and unexplained weight loss and muscle atrophy.
Some have hallucinations, including what Marrero said are “terrifying hallucinatory dreams” that leave them afraid to go to sleep, and tactile hallucinations in which they feel as if insects are crawling on them. One symptom, particularly devastating for loved ones, is Capgras delusion, a belief that family members have been replaced by impostors.
“The rapidity in the constellation of features is something that – I’ve not seen this before,” said Michael Strong, the neurologist who heads the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
The cluster was detected by the federal public health agency’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease surveillance system, which monitors for CJD and other prion disorders. They occur when prions, misfolded proteins, build up and cause normal proteins in the brain to misfold. Under a microscope, the brains of people and animals with prion disorders resemble sponges with small holes.
Michael Coulthart, who heads the surveillance system, said it is notified ofmany suspected cases each year, but only a tiny number are confirmed. The system has identified 36 “definite and probable” cases of CJD in New Brunswick since 1998.
The system doesn’t typically follow up on unconfirmed cases;the physician treating the patient is left to search for another diagnosis.
Marrero, with one such case in2015, couldn’t finda satisfying diagnosis. From 2018 on, patients kept showing up with similar symptoms. In 2019, there were 11 cases in New Brunswick that would later be identified as part of the cluster.In 2020, there were 24. Marrero and Coulthart thought they could be dealing with something new. SNIP
Read the full article here.