| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Canada: Mysterious brain illness causes concern in New Brunswick

Health experts in the Canadian province of New Brunswick are paying close attention to a puzzling brain ailment that is gaining concern. The New York Post has stated that the number of affected patients is on the rise. This ailment is said to be causing neurological symptoms such as hallucinations, vision issues, muscle deterioration, memory impairment, and abnormal movements. Similar symptoms were observed in a group of patients back in 2015, which eventually grew to encompass 48 cases.
New York Post has now reported that some health experts and residents are saying that number of patients this time is much higher, maybe even greater than 200.

Moreover, an unusually high number of cases have been seen in younger population. Typically, youngsters do not show symptoms of dementia or signs of other neurological problems.

“I am particularly concerned about the increase in numbers of young-onset and early-onset neurological syndrome,” said Dr Alier Marrero as quoted by The New York Post. Dr Marrero said this in a letter dated January 30, 2023 to New Brunswick’s chief medical officer and the chief federal public health officer.

“Over the past year, I have been following 147 cases, between the ages of 17 and 80 years old. Out of those, 57 are early-onset cases and 41 are young-onset cases,” the letter from Marrero reportedly said.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, there were nine deaths, as of 2021, attributed to the mysterious illness.

Abrupt stop to government investigation
The government authorities were looking into the illness and were considering environmental toxins as a cause. However, the investigation was abruptly shut down in 2021.

“People who were part of this cluster displayed symptoms that varied significantly from case to case, and there was no evidence of a shared common illness or of a syndrome of unknown cause,” the government said in its final report. The government said that it was concluding its investigation.

However, many who are not part of the government authorities are still trying to look into the illness and think that the illness may be linked to pesticides used primarily in rural areas.

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