'Nodding disease' confounds researchers

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by mysticrose, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    1. wendybtn
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  3. tiredblondy

    tiredblondy New Member

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    That is heartbreaking. What is to keep it from spreading all over the world?
     
  4. Herding Cats

    Herding Cats New Member

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    Here's a bit more reading on it...not a pretty thing, and definitely odd.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nodding_disease

    An older article:
    http://allafrica.com/stories/200912100374.html

    And a bit more here:
    http://www.imperfectparent.com/topi...disease-afflicting-children-baffling-experts/

    Seems to me to be confined to a specific region, which, thankfully, would lead to specificity in pathogenicity. One interesting thing is that most of the children who get this have a particular parasite; however, a lot more folks have the parasite and not Nodding Disease.

    That tells me that there is some sort of combination of things which trigger the neuro issues, likely some sort of parasite mutation and/or combination of parasite and a chemical issue (some reports state that because of hunger, people have eaten the seeds given to grow crops instead of planting; these seeds were treated with chemicals).

    I wish the medical teams Godspeed in getting more information to treat, and then prevent, this disease.

    Best-
    Herding Cats
     
  5. tapu

    tapu Pretty scary.

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    If I were a neurological researcher (and I am, sort of, here in this comfy armchair), I would like to see some fMRIs of these kids during the nodding. (If it's not too condescending, I'll explain here that these "functional" MRIs show not only brain structures but processing in the brain in real-time action. Or something like that.)

    I would bet that that's been done so I'll look around the net for something on it, but it's one of those rare things that new and specific and limited in interest enough that such medical research details don't show up on the web. (!!!)

    If anyone sees something related to that, please let me know.

    I guess I'll try to find out more abotu that parasite, too.
     
  6. tapu

    tapu Pretty scary.

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    The 5-15 age range might mean that a certain maturation hormone has to be present for it all to add up to nodding.

    As for the parasitic disease, the one article talks about how the disease, which usually causes blindness, crosses the blood-brain barrier to become neurological in nature. Now that brings up the quesiton as to how the "normal" blindness happens. Is it not neurological in nature? I.e., does it not cross the barrier and affect the visual cortex in order to cause blindness? If not, then how does it happen? That maight be a clue as to how the outcome is different with the nodding and not the blindness alone.
     
  7. tapu

    tapu Pretty scary.

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    Herding Cats--
    just reread your post, above. interesting abotu the seeds. connects to where eating itself can trigger nodding/seizures. maybe there is something more broadly present in food there (not like there's a real varied diet), that added to the maturation, parasite, etc...... Could lead somewhere.
     

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