Doctors in Canada have remained baffled after recording 43 cases of new mysterious brain disease. BBC News reports that one of the infected people, Roger Ellis, suddenly collapsed with a seizure during his 40th wedding anniversary.
Roger, who was in his 60s, had been having an uneventful retirement until that June. Steve Ellis, his son, reported that his father’s health quickly deteriorated since the day of that incident. He experienced aggression, weight loss, hallucinations, and repetitive speech. Steve said that there was even a time when he was unable to walk.
He was hospitalized and tested for possible CJD (Creutzfedt Jakob Disease), but the test results were negative. The doctors tested him for a series of other illnesses with no luck. Steve adds that the doctors tried their best to alleviate the symptoms of the mysterious disease but still couldn’t find its cause.
First recognized in 2015
The neurologist who led the investigation in New Brunswick, Dr. Alier Marrrero, said they first recognized the disease in 2015, terming it an isolated and atypical case. After that, however, the doctors have witnessed numerous similar cases, leading them to cluster several unknown brain diseases as a syndrome they’ve never seen before.
The Guardian says that doctors advised people to look out for symptoms similar to CJD, a fatal but rare disease caused by prions. These symptoms included memory loss, atypical jerking movements, and vision problems. The doctors, however, noted that despite the signs of CJD and the mysterious syndrome being similar, the two were not the same. They are now investigating whether we are dealing with a previously unknown neurological illness or a series of unrelated but known diseases.
Dr. Marrero says that victims of the unknown syndrome initially developed unexplained pains, spams, and behavioral changes. Then, 18 to 36 months after that, they develop teeth chattering, cognitive decline, drooling, and muscle wasting. A few of the patients also experienced hallucinations. CTV News reported that the New Brunswick government launched a website to help the public keep track of the mysterious neurological syndrome.