(BBC) – Doctors in Canada have been coming across patients showing symptoms similar to that of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare fatal condition that attacks the brain. But when they took a closer look, what they found left them stumped. Almost two years ago, Roger Ellis collapsed at home with a seizure on his 40th wedding anniversary.

In his early 60s, Mr. Ellis, who was born and raised around New Brunswick’s bucolic Acadian peninsula, had been healthy until that June and was enjoying his retirement after decades working as an industrial mechanic. His son, Steve Ellis, says after that fateful day his father’s health rapidly declined.

“He had delusions, hallucinations, weight loss, aggression, repetitive speech,” he says. “At one point he couldn’t even walk. So in the span of three months, we were being brought to a hospital to tell us they believed he was dying – but no one knew why.”


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Roger Ellis’ doctors first suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease [CJD]. CJD is a human prion disease, a fatal and rare degenerative brain disorder that sees patients present with symptoms like failing memory, behavioral changes, and difficulties with coordination. READ MORE

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