Oversight committee rules out mysterious brain disease in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON –

An expert committee has determined there is no evidence of a mysterious brain disease in New Brunswick.

The oversight committee of six neurologists was created last year after provincial health officials alerted doctors in March about a potentially new neurological syndrome.

A cluster of 48 patients was identified with similar symptoms such as rapidly progressing dementia, muscle spasms and atrophy.

However a report released today says the committee has ruled out a single illness and found possible alternative diagnoses for most of the patients, including Alzheimer’s disease, various forms of dementia, post-concussion syndrome and cancer.

Families of the 48 patients met virtually with Health Minister Dorothy Shephard earlier today ahead of the report’s publication.

In recent days, many of the patients have received letters from the committee to say they don’t have an unknown neurological condition and should contact their doctor for more details.

Public Health New Brunswick says its investigation is now complete and it recommends that patients continue to seek treatment at a specialized clinic in Moncton or with another specialized physician.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2022.

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