Throughout the Canadian territory of New Brunswick, the amount of individuals affected by a mysterious, cognitive disorder with lethal potential continues to increase.
Neurologic signs such as muscle wasting, hallucinations, visual impairments, cognitive decline, and irregular motions were initially observed in 2015 within a limited group of individuals, eventually expanding to encompass 48 cases.
However, a few medical professionals and nearby inhabitants argue that the quantity of people afflicted with the ailment is significantly greater, which could surpass 200.
In addition, an unusual number of those cases are in young people, who do not typically show dementia-like symptoms or signs of other neurological problems.
Moreover, an atypical proportion of these instances involve people in their youth, who usually do not exhibit indications resembling dementia or indications of other neurological issues.
“I am particularly concerned about the increase in numbers of young-onset and early-onset neurological syndrome,” neurologist Dr. Alier Marrero wrote wrote in a letter penned January 30, 2023, to New Brunswick’s federal public health officer, and the chief medical 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,” Dr. Marrero’s letter reads, the Toronto Star reported.
As of the year 2021, there were nine fatalities associated with the mysterious neurological disorder, according to the Daily Mail.
However, a federal inquiry, contemplating the role of pollutants in the environment as a potential factor, unexpectedly terminated during 2021.
The Public Health New Brunswick, a govenment agency, officially proclaimed in its conclusive report for February of 2022 that a particular condition had, “no evidence of a cluster of neurological syndrome of unknown cause,” the podcast Canadaland said.
“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, therefore concluding its investigation into the matter,” the authors stated in the report.
However, Marrero and supporters of patients are not surrendering, and numerous individuals believe that the condition might be connected to the utilization of insecticides in the predominantly countryside region.
Glyphosate, a weedkiller employed in farming, the timber sector, and domestic herbicides, has garnered special attention.
Marrero warned in his January 2023 letter that recent lab testing on patients revealed “clear signs of glyphosate exposure” along with other substances connected to herbicides, the Guardian reported.
Marrero additionally pointed out that the existence of glyphosate could be associated with the proliferation of blue-green algae in water sources. “I am particularly concerned about the increase in numbers of young-onset and early-onset neurological syndrome.”
Glyphosate contains phosphorous that can stimulate blooms of blue-green algae, a type of cyanobacteria that can sicken people and kill animals, including pets.
Glyphosate includes phosphorous that has the potential to trigger the growth of a type of cyanobacteria such as blue-green algae that can cause illness in humans and deaths in animals, such as domesticated pet animals.
Advocates argue that the actual amount of incidences is no less than 200, and some victims have been confirmed to have been exposed to various pollutants in the environment, such as glyphosate, surpassing the average threshold by up to 40 times.
There are advocates who support patients that are questioning whether the closure of the case may be influenced by external forces, such as the influence exerted by industry corporations or other organizations.
However, they refuse to give up: A committed collective of patients and their loved ones from New Brunswick are urging the national and regional government to initiate a comprehensive inquiry into the condition.
“We are formally demanding that federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos unmuzzle Canadian scientists and direct the Public Health Agency of Canada to uphold the Canada Health Act and reinstate federal experts into the investigation,” An advocate named Steve Ellis said to the Toronto Star.
The dad of Ellis, Roger Ellis, was among the initial 48 cases of the neurologic ailment.
“For almost a year, we were led to believe that a thorough and unbiased public health investigation was in progress. We are here to tell you that that did not happen,” Stacie Cormier said, who’s also a patient advocate.
Gabrielle Cormier, who is Cormier’s stepdaughter, had to drop out of her higher education and relinquish her passion for ice dancing at 20 years old due to falling sick with cognitive decline, sight difficulties, and an incapacity to remain upright for longer than a couple of minutes, according to CTV News.
She made a last visit to an ice-skating rink in 2021.
She said to CTV News that “The reason we went to the rink again was because I was afraid that I was going to die and I wanted to be on the ice one last time.”