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Canada: lobsters at the origin of a new mysterious disease?


The emergence of a neurological disease affecting young patients in the province of New Brunswick worries Canadian authorities. At the origin of it? The possible environmental consequences of lobster farming in the region.

It is a whistleblower who has revived the debate around this mysterious disease, which has panicked specialists in Canadian neurological medicine for more than two years and which now affects young adults.

Up to 150 people are currently affected, according to a Guardian article published on January 2.

Asked by the British daily, a health professional – employee of the Vitalité health network responsible for hospitals in the province in question – assured that more and more suspected cases were counted in young patients in good health, who however did not present no history.

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According to her, many of them would develop worrying symptoms “which seem to evolve very quickly”, such as rapid weight loss, insomnia and hallucinations such as “the sensation that insects swarm on their skin” or even loss of blood. motor and intellectual faculty “after eighteen to thirty-six months”, which can lead to the death of patients.

In question ? The possible environmental consequences of lobster farming in the region, while according to several theories, the discovery of high concentrations of BMAA – a neurotoxic amino acid – taken from lobsters in the region – whose farming is a very important industry of New Brunswick – could be at the origin of this epidemic.

Already in the spring, several Canadian media had reported on a mysterious disease, the symptoms of which were similar to that known as “Creutzfeldt-Jakob”. 43 cases had already been identified, to such an extent that the Canadian health authorities had mentioned the presence of a “cluster” in the region, with no known origin.

According to the article the Guardian posted at the time, residents of the province learned of the disease after a memo leaked from the local public health agency, asking doctors to be on the lookout for symptoms similar to those of this neurodegenerative condition.

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