On October 27, 2021, patients and their families take a hard hit.
I’ve seen enough to make me doubt there is an unknown neurological syndrome, says Dorothy Shephard, New Brunswick’s Minister of Health.
Minister Shephard unveils the findings of the epidemiological investigation launched five months earlier.
With all the information I know today, I don’t believe that patients are linked to each other by the same disease., she adds.
A damning report for the hypothesis of Dr. Marrero and the families of the patients.
” At present, we know that no behavior, no environmental or dietary exposure puts New Brunswickers at risk. “
The conclusion of the epidemiological investigation is essentially based on a telephone survey (New window) carried out with 34 of the 48 patients in the cluster. This 74-page survey tells us, among other things, that 91% of respondents ate wild foods, that 97% ate seafood up to two years before the onset of symptoms.
To my knowledge, the analysis of responses to the detailed epidemiological questionnaire did not recommend testing [environnementaux] additional, says Dorothy Shephard.
Public health will not request tests in the environment, or in food, or on patients and victims, despite the insistence of families.
It is not too much to ask that the tissues of the deceased be tested for toxins. It’s not too much to ask, but it hasn’t been done. And I dont understand why, says Jill Beatty, daughter of Laurie Beatty.
During the same period, the results of the autopsies of eight patients with the syndrome are published on the website of the Canadian Association of Neuropathologists. According to the summary report, the eight patients are part of a group whose diagnosis is misclassified.
Dr Marrero refuses to have his hypothesis swept away so easily.
I say that we have to do other tests and that we have to test, we cannot investigate a serious neurological problem with telephone interviews., he believes.
This opinion is also shared by several scientists with whom we spoke.
According to neurologist Marrero, the conclusions of the New Brunswick epidemiological investigation are at least open to criticism and the autopsies performed on the victims of the cluster are incomplete.
I was asked to agree with families to take not only the brain, but also kidney, fatty tissue and liver biopsies to test for toxins., says Dr Marrero.
In early 2021, the federal-provincial task force to study the New Brunswick cluster asked Dr Marrero for consent from affected families to obtain additional tissue donations for future research.
They sleep in the laboratory. There are hundreds of samples sleeping in the lab, argues the neurologist.
As for Laurie Beatty, an autopsy revealed that he suffered from Alzheimer’s. But her children, Jill and Tim, are convinced that it was not this disease that killed their father in less than 5 months.
It was something else. The decline was rapid … it was not a gentle slope, it was a steep descent, says Tim Beatty.
Jill and Tim are lobbying public health officials to resume research into the cause of the disease.