By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

New Brunswick, Canada officials reports investigating 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.

As of 6 May 2021, 48 cases have been reported, including six deaths. In some cases, more information is needed to determine if the cause of death was a result of this syndrome. Most cases have dates of symptom onset between 2018-2020, except for one case who experienced symptoms in 2013, the gender ratio is 1:1 and age ranges between 18 and 85 years.

Most cases live in the south-eastern and north-eastern regions of New Brunswick, around the Acadian Peninsula and Moncton areas. However, there is no evidence so far suggesting that residents of these regions are at higher risk. Some symptoms include memory problems, muscle spasms, balance issues, difficulty walking or falls, blurred vision or vision hallucinations, unexplained and significant weight loss, behaviour changes, and pain in the upper or lower limbs.

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.