Doctors have been reporting an alarming spike in a mysterious neurological disorder over the past two years, leaving scientists and medical professionals baffled.
Medical professionals are warning that the neurological condition, characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including hallucinations, muscle wasting, vision problems, memory loss, and abnormal movements, is on the rise.
Since 2021, the number of cases of this syndrome has soared to 48, according to public health officials.
However, experts believe the true number of people affected could exceed 200.
What is particularly concerning is the prevalence of young people being affected by the condition, which is not typically associated with dementia-like symptoms or other neurological issues.
Neurologist Dr. Alier Marrero expressed his worry about the rise in cases of early-onset and young-onset neurological syndrome, as was recently reported by the New York Post.
In a letter dated January 30, 2023, Marrero reported monitoring 147 cases, with 57 classified as early-onset and 41 as young-onset, according to the Toronto Star.
As of 2021, there were nine reported deaths linked to the mysterious illness.
Dr. Marrero, a Canadian physician, told The Daily Mail that he was unable to identify the underlying cause of the unclassified neurological condition or an identifiable cluster of symptoms that could lead to a ready diagnosis and a course of treatment.
“He informed government officials in 2021 that he had just referred two new patients – one in their 30s, another in their 50s – who were experiencing progressive Alzheimer’s Disease,” the Mail reported.
“A barrage of blood tests, spinal taps, and brain scans performed on the patients revealed brain atrophy and neurological dysfunction, but not in such a uniform way across patients that Dr. Marrero could find a clear diagnosis.”
“Most patients were experiencing dementia-like symptoms. Some suddenly were unable to form words and had uncontrollable muscle spasms, difficulty moving, and fatigue,” the report added.
A government investigation, exploring potential environmental toxins as the cause, was abruptly halted in 2021.
Public Health New Brunswick, the government agency responsible, concluded in its final report released in February 2022 that there was no evidence of an unknown neurological syndrome cluster.
However, Dr. Marrero and patient advocates refuse to give up on the investigation, with many suspecting a possible connection between the disorder and pesticide use in the predominantly rural province.
Glyphosate, an herbicide commonly employed in agriculture, the forestry industry, and household weedkillers, has come under particular scrutiny.
Laboratory tests conducted on patients revealed indications of exposure to glyphosate and other herbicide-related compounds, as noted by Marrero.
The presence of glyphosate has also been linked to the occurrence of blue-green algae blooms in water bodies.
Glyphosate contains phosphorous, which can contribute to the growth of blue-green algae—a type of cyanobacteria capable of causing illness in humans and fatalities in animals.
A dedicated group of patients and their families in New Brunswick are demanding a comprehensive investigation by federal and provincial authorities.
“We formally request that federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos enable Canadian scientists to speak out and direct the Public Health Agency of Canada to uphold the Canada Health Act, reinstating federal experts to conduct the investigation,” stated advocate Steve Ellis. Ellis’s father, Roger Ellis, was among the initial 48 cases reported.
Patient advocate Stacie Cormier expressed disappointment in the lack of a thorough and unbiased public health investigation.
Cormier’s stepdaughter, Gabrielle Cormier, was forced to abandon college and give up her passion for figure skating at the age of 20 when she fell ill with memory loss, vision problems, and an inability to stand for extended periods.
In 2021, she made a poignant final visit to an ice rink, fearing for her life.
Despite the timing that the disorder first emerged, doctors insist that it can’t be caused by COVID-19 because all of the patients were fully vaccinated.
But with investigations into the cause of the syndrome shut down, doctors are baffled by what is causing the sudden surge in cases.
Many political observers suspect that the 2021 investigation may have been shut down due to a potential link with mRNA vaccines.
As explained by Neha Mathur at News Medical, the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines carry a spike (S) protein that has been shown to cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), therefore it can lead to unknown neurological pathology in patients.
“COVID-19 mRNA vaccine mimics COVID-19 infection, but instead of the whole virus, synthesize only severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein for the immune response, without causing COVID-19 infection,” Mahur points out.
“The harmful effects of mRNA vaccine-produced high levels of S protein are not yet completely understood,” she added.
“Researchers have cautioned that they induce complex reprogramming of innate immune responses; moreover, the vaccine-produced S protein remains near the vaccination site and even circulates in the bloodstream to directly affect the host cells with long-term consequences.
“Therefore, it is crucial to monitor the biodistribution and location of S protein from mRNA vaccines.”
“Studies have recovered COVID-19 mRNA from the cerebrospinal fluid of vaccinees, suggesting it can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB),” she added.
“In addition, even without crossing the BBB, several cytokines induced by COVID-19 infection cross the BBB to affect central nervous system (CNS) function.”
“In this way, COVID-19 mRNA reaches the brain, infects astrocytes, and triggers neuropathological changes that contribute to the structural and functional alterations in the brain of COVID-19 patients,” she noted.
“The researchers have also raised concerns that the lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) can diffuse quickly to the CNS through the olfactory bulb or blood.
“However, these phenomen[a], including the role of innate memory responses to LNPs, need to be further explored in future research.”
In a 2022 journal article in the Trends in Molecular Medicine, the ability for the Spike (S) protein to cross the Blood Brain Barrier is further explored.
“Given the wide ACE2 expression in the human brain, a study of particular interest showed that IV-injected radioiodinated S1 (I-S1) readily crossed by adsorptive transcytosis the blood–brain barrier in male mice, was taken up by brain regions, and entered the parenchymal brain space,” the journal noted.
“I-S1 was also taken up by the lung, spleen, kidney, and liver; intranasally administered I-S1 also entered the brain, although at lower levels than after i.v. administration.
“Similarly, S1 was found to disrupt the blood–brain barrier integrity at a 3D blood–brain barrier microfluidic model.”
While it is currently unknown what is causing the neurological syndrome, doctors are urgently researching the health issue for a definitive answer.