The patients first reported pain, mood swings and seizures, before many after some time experienced memory loss, muscle wasting, drooling and teeth chattering, reports Security. At least 43 people were affected, five of whom lost their lives.
Reminiscent of “Mad Cow”
Symptoms should be reminiscent of dangerous prion diseases, such as: Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseasevariant of mad cow disease in humans, but doctors found no evidence of this.
In prion disease, brain cells die very quickly, leaving tiny holes. Researchers have not found such a hole in these patients.
– After detailed analysis, we have a hypothesis that it is related to toxic environmental factors, said Dr. Alier Marrero to Global News in Canada. They are now looking into possible sources of poisoning in the local area.
Because what all the patients had in common was that they were from the same geographic area, the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick, in the east of the country.
Norwegian Professor: – Unusual
The first cases were reported in 2015, but it wasn’t until 2019, when the cases became much more numerous, that health authorities intensified their search for the cause.
– This is a serious brain disease, which progresses very quickly and is fatal. It’s very unusual to see this type of disease in groups, said Charalampos Tzoulis, professor of neurology at the University of Bergen. NRK.
He recounts previous examples where water or food sources have been contaminated, for example, heavy metals and herbicides.
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