N.B. Health Officials Tracking Cluster of Patients With Unknown Neurological Syndrome


New Brunswick health officials are alerting the province’s doctors, nurses and pharmacists about a cluster of residents with a neurological syndrome of unknown origin.

Deputy chief medical officer of health Dr. Cristin Muecke said in a memo dated March 5, addressed to the province’s various medical professional associations, there were 40 cases in New Brunswick associated with the cluster.

She says the cases have many similarities to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a degenerative and fatal brain disorder.

Muecke says the first known case was retrospectively identified in 2015, while she says 11 cases were found in 2019 and 24 cases were detected in 2020.


The memo says four more cases have been found so far in 2021 and in total, five patients with the unknown syndrome have died.

Muecke says symptoms include rapidly progressing dementia — possibly involving hallucinations — psychiatric issues and muscle atrophy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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