Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Always Different

Doctors in New Brunswick are on high alert for patients exhibiting symptoms of an alarming neurological disease that appears to be linked to environmental causes. The neurotoxin behind the human outbreak is likely impacting livestock and wildlife, too.

Health Canada’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease surveillance system determined that the rising number of cases should be considered a cluster in the Moncton and Acadian Peninsula areas of New Brunswick. There have been 42 cases of this emerging disease reported in the province so far. Symptoms are similar to prion disease, which includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, chronic wasting disease in wildlife and mad cow disease in livestock. Sick people and animals are merely symptoms of a bigger problem–a global problem.

Scientists are currently looking into the possibility that this is a new variant of a prion disease — or a new disease entirely.

Since prions mutate as they move up the food chain, there are now thousands of mutations threatening humans and other mammals. It’s too soon to make a determination, but it’s impossible to rule out prion disease given the numerous prion pathways in every nation. Plus, CJD pathology is always different. In general, however, it is becoming more aggressive. It’s striking younger people more frequently. It’s taking victims faster than ever.

Excluding the recent coronavirus pandemic, neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death on the planet. Alzheimer’s disease alone is taking the lives of 50-100 million people around the world now. Millions will die of the disease this year, while millions more will be diagnosed and misdiagnosed. Millions of additional people will go undiagnosed. The prion (pree-on) pandemic has been accelerating for years. Prion disease is an infectious disease. It’s always fatal. There is no vaccine.

A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and prions.

Prions are infectious, deadly proteins that consume the brain. Prion disease is clinically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). As the name suggests, TSEs are transmissible (contagious). Infectious waste from victims remains infectious as it migrates through wastewater treatment systems. Unfortunately, wastewater treatment systems don’t stop deadly prions. Wastewater treatment systems are prion incubators and distributors. As more people contract prion disease, wastewater treatment systems, reclaimed wastewater and sewage sludge become deadlier.

Read the full story about the prion disease cluster in New Brunswick, Canada.

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Earth News is a division of Crossbow Communications. Earth News is a syndicated environmental news service. The company covers a variety of health and environmental issues, including biodiversity, chronic wasting disease, climate change, deforestation, endangered species, global warming, neurodegenerative disease, neurotoxins, wildlife conservation and more.