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  • Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease - carbon monoxide exposure suspected

    Published Date: 2014-03-29 22:02:44
    Subject: PRO/EDR> Undiagnosed cerebral disease – Kazakhstan: (AM)
    Archive Number: 20140329.2363058

    ************************************************** ******
    A ProMED-mail post
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Date: 16 Mar 2014 [apologies for the delay in posting due to technical problems. - ProMED]
    Source: Tengrinews 15 Mar 2014 [trans. Mod.NP, edited]

    A group of Kazakh scientists revealed the 1st results of investigations which were carried out in the "sleeping" village of Kalachi in the Akmolinsk region, a TV channel reported.

    Physicians came to the conclusion that the disease that affected tens of inhabitants of the settlement isn't transferred by droplet or any other way. A precise diagnosis has not been established yet. Virologists and radiologists checked almost all the territory of the village; toxicologists examined every house. Radon gas was detected in the air, which, according to one version, may be the cause of sleepy sickness.

    Roza Abzalova, doctor of medical science, said that they suspected meningitis or encephalitis. But any viral disease connected with the central nervous system has been excluded. Bacterial disease and radiation have also been excluded. "We did not find those diseases. Now we are investigating several [other] possibilities, and after 20 Mar 2014, I think we will come to some conclusion."

    Let's remember that an outbreak of a mysterious disease happened in Kalachi in January 2014 for the 2nd time. Lethargy, sleepiness, disorientation, partial loss of memory, and even hallucinations were observed in residents of the village. People could fall down in the middle of the day and sleep for 2 days. The number of cases has exceeded 30.

    Uranium ore was mined in the 1960's to 1990's near the village of Kalachi. Uranium mining ceased in 1991-1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union; the mines were closed and the area was cultivated.

    Communicated by:

    [ProMED could not trace the update promised for 20 Mar 2014.

    This is clearly not the same as the sleeping sickness spread by tsetse flies in Africa. It is reminiscent of the nodding syndrome in children in Sudan and Uganda (see ProMED archives listed below) and elsewhere, which is an unexplained epidemic epilepsy (Ref: Scott F. Dowell, James J. Sejvar et al. Nodding Syndrome. EID Volume 19, Number 9, September 2013. Fig. 4 in that article shows the age distribution of patients at onset of nodding syndrome in Kitgum District, Uganda. The age distribution tightly clusters in persons 5-15 years of age, with only 5 cases aged over 16; the oldest was 27.

    But since adults appear to be involved, it is more similar to the mysterious pandemic of encephalitis lethargica that swept the world from 1915-1926, for which no cause has ever been found. Encephalitis lethargica or von Economo disease is an atypical form of encephalitis. Also known as "sleepy sickness", it was 1st described by the neurologist Constantin von Economo in 1917. The disease attacks the brain, leaving some victims in a statue-like condition, speechless and motionless for long periods. No recurrence of the epidemic has since been reported, though isolated cases continue to occur. There is a good review (AH Reid, S McCall, M JM Henry, JK Taubenberger. Experimenting on the Past: The Enigma of von Economo's Encephalitis Lethargica. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology Vol. 60, No. 7, July, 2001, pp. 663 670.

    Treatment with Levodopa (L-DOPA) and other anti-Parkinson drugs often produce dramatic responses. However, in most of the patients who were given L-DOPA in the 1960s, the amelioration of the disease was short lived. The prescription drug Zolpidem, commonly used as a sleeping pill, has been reported to be successful at treating encephalitis lethargica. These could be tried on the patients.

    A map of Kazakhstan, showing the Akmola region UN-B in the north, can be found at: Kalachi is on the northern border of the region which also contains the capital, Astana. See - Mod.JW
    Last edited by Emily; March 6th, 2015, 03:43 PM. Reason: Updated tags for Tomsk Polytechnic University findings

  • #2
    Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

    The disturbing features of the K. von Economo Encephalitis Lethargica may belong to the first two decaded of XX century but the scary accounts of that pandemic are living and well until now.

    It was suggested by von Economo that the aetiological agent was possibly an ultra-microscopic pathogen able to cause infection in caged monkeys.

    Unfortunately, despite various attempts, no such pathogen was eventually isolated from formalin-fixed brain sampled collected in several medical institutions around the world.

    The sleepy sickness pandemic happenend during the end of the second decade of the century, just at the time when WWI ended and the great influenza pandemic ravaged the world (1918-19). For this reason, it was suggested a correlation between the two conditions, however no viral particles were isolated in some of the victims tissues.

    A condition similar to sleepy sickness was seen during 1889-90 influenza pandemic in some Northern Italy regions, were the flu caused the infamous 'Nona' epidemic: The name suggested the frequent falling asleep of the influenza victims and the disabling complications they suffered when survived the acute phase of the illness.

    A depict of both 'Nona' and sleepy sickness was made famous by the scientist and writer Oliver Sacks, one of the first to attemp the use of L-DOPA in post-encephalitic parkinsonian patients survived the Spanish flu.



    • #3
      Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

      Recent reports from the southern region of Russia within approximately 150 miles of Kazakhstan border:

      Russia - Doctors concerned about the high incidence of pneumonia in children - Mednogorsk Orenburg region

      Russia - "Marked rise" in intestinal infections among children in Novokuznetsk - hospitals overcrowded - possibly clostridium dificile

      Russia - Flu and ARI exceeding the epidemic threshold in Abakan, Khakassia - 11 schools closed

      Russia - Tuva - In Kyzyl, due to increasing incidence of influenza, quarantine from March 9 to 15

      Russia - Epidemic threshold for flu and ARI exceeding the norm by 24% - hospitals sending the sick home due to overcrowding - Kazan, Tatarstan
      "May the long time sun
      Shine upon you,
      All love surround you,
      And the pure light within you
      Guide your way on."

      "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."

      “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
      Mohandas Gandhi

      Be the light that is within.


      • #4
        Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

        Published Date: 2014-03-30 23:18:40
        Subject: PRO/EDR> Undiagnosed cerebral disease - Kazakhstan (02): (AM) timeline
        Archive Number: 20140330.2368271

        ************************************************** *******************
        A ProMED-mail post
        ProMED-mail is a program of the
        International Society for Infectious Diseases

        [ProMED has found the following earlier reports in English on the Internet that give more information.]

        Date: 5 Feb 2014
        Source: Tengrinews online English edition [edited]

        The 1st cases of sleep syndrome took place in March and April of 2013 when around 10 local residents came to the clinic with similar symptoms. The ages ranged from 14-70, but all of them suffered from drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, loss of coordination and partial loss of memory. Later in January 2014 more residents of the village complained about sleepiness.

        The blood tests did not give any [abnormal] results. The psychologists and psychiatrists who examined the patients did not find any psychological disorders. The only pattern that has been identified is that syndrome strikes the Kalachi village in times when the outside temperature surges upwards in a sharp spike.

        It is certainly is a nightmare for the parents as they are afraid to let their children go to school. The symptoms are sudden and there is no way to predict when and who the sleep syndrome is going to strike next. "The first one was a 9th grade student who fell asleep, you know he started having hallucinations (...) Some of the symptoms resembled a stroke, but it was not a stroke. Several adults and 2 children were in the intensive care with continuing hallucinations," local resident Nadezhda Yakimova said.

        Date: 20 Feb 2014
        Source: Tengrinews online English edition [edited]

        2 more people have been hospitalized at Kalachi village with sleep syndrome symptoms, Tengrinews reports citing Interfax-Kazakhstan.
        On 20 Feb 2014, a 53-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were hospitalized to the Esil District Hospital. The new cases of sleep syndrome have a mild form: while patients are feeling dizzy and sleepy they have no hallucinations and loss of memory.
        Both patients were admitted to the therapeutic department of the hospital with encephalopathy of unclear origin, said Doctor Kabrashyt Almagambetov. The symptoms started showing during warmer days. The symptoms manifest themselves only during thawing weather and sudden warmings.

        Date: 12 Mar 2014
        Source: Tengrinews online English edition [edited]

        "The Ministry of Healthcare informs that since the 1st cases of hospitalization in March 2013, the situation at Kalachi village, (population 680) has been under control," the press office of the Ministry reported. There have been 33 patients suffering from similar symptoms of drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, loss of coordination and partial loss of memory. "The symptoms are temporary and disappear after 2-3 days. The condition of the patients is considered satisfactory and appropriate for their gender, age and the time of the first symptoms (...)," the report said.

        While the committee continues its work there, 5 more people were admitted to the hospital with encephalopathy of unclear origin. The patients have the sleep syndrome symptoms such as partial memory loss, drowsiness, weakness and dizziness.

        Date: 15 Mar 2014
        Source: Tengrinews online English edition [edited]

        A team of the finest ecologists, virologists and toxicologists has arrived in the Kalachi village of Akmola Oblast to determine the cause of the mysterious sleep syndrome that has affected more than 30 villagers, Tengrinews reports citing KTK. It is the 1st time such a team of research scientists has been gathered to deal with the issue. They will have to find the cause of the sleep syndrome and come up with a plan for countermeasures. If the scientists find a serious health hazard then villagers will be evacuated from Kalachi.

        "We have separated our team into 2 groups. The first group will be examining the patients. The 2nd group will be gathering data in the village. We have some preliminary data from the tests. At the moment, our main goal is to determine the cause of the illness as soon as possible," Yesenbai Akadilov of the Healthcare Department of Akmola Oblast said.

        The 1st case of the sleep syndrome was registered back in spring of 2013. Villagers aged from 14 to 70 sought medical help due to fatigue, drowsiness, loss of coordination and partial loss of memory. Later in January of 2014, more patients were admitted to the local clinic with similar syndromes. The patients would just fall asleep for a number of days straight.

        Despite all the attempts to uncover the truth behind the mysterious illness, doctors and researchers have not found the poisoned apple or any other cause for the sleep syndrome. [The reference is to the Grimm fairy tale "Snow White" in which a jealous queen gives her more beautiful stepdaughter a poisoned apple to eat that plunges her into a deep sleep for a very long time. She is aroused when her glass coffin is dropped by the servants of a prince who had fallen in love with her beauty, seen by him through the glass. - Mod.JW]

        Date: 20 Mar 2014
        Source: Tengrinews online English edition [edited]
        One more Kalachi native falls asleep to wake up in Kokshetau
        While the team or doctors and scientist is working in Kalachi village to determine what is causing the mysterious sleep syndrome, one more patient has fallen asleep. The new victim of the sleep syndrome, a 23-year-old PE [Physical Education] instructor, fell so fast asleep that he had to be brought to a hospital.

        "I came from work and had my dinner. I went to the shower right before going to sleep. Then I fell asleep and I do not remember anything after that. It appears I was brought to Yesil and later to Kokshetau city. I woke up to find myself in Kokshetau," he said. [Kokshetau is 224km from Kalachi village. - Mod.JW]

        The scientists gave a preliminary statement concerning their work. They think that radon gas discovered in the air in small amounts might be the cause of the sleep syndrome. The Minister of Healthcare Salidat Kairbekova said that after a talk with the Yesil Hospital more scientists were sent to Kalachi. "We will report on the results as soon as we can," she added.

        Date: 24 Mar 2014
        Source: Tengrinews online English edition [edited]

        7000 tests have been made in Kalachi village in Akmola Oblast over the past 12 months, Tengrinews reports citing the Ministry of Health Care of Kazakhstan.

        "7000 tests of the possible causes of the encephalopathy have been made since March 2013. We have ruled out infectious and bacterial diseases. The gamma-background [radiation] of the village is within the normal range. No increase in salts or heavy metal concentrations has been detected," the report said.

        The investigation of the Kalachi case continues. Ministers from several Ministries have been put in charge of the research. The team is responsible for making a comprehensive ecological research and analysis with the use of instruments.

        Earlier, the team of Kazakhstani researchers announced their preliminary findings. They concluded that the sleep syndrome was not a transmissible disease.
        Communicated by:

        [New information from these earlier reports is that the age range of the victims is 14 to 70 years, the sleep episode could last for number of days and the experts were leaning towards a toxic etiology (radon gas).

        They do not appear to have considered catatonia, which may be of neurologic or pharmaceutical origin. Catatonic patients will sometimes hold rigid poses for hours and will ignore any external stimuli, similar to cases of encephalitis lethargica and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. There are a variety of treatments available; benzodiazepines are a first-line treatment strategy. Electro-convulsive therapy is also sometimes used. There is growing evidence for the effectiveness of NMDA antagonists for benzodiazepine resistant catatonia [see ref. (1) below]. Ref. (2) describes a diagnostic test and treatment alternatives. Ref.(3) suggests that micronutrient deficiencies should be examined.

        (1) Daniels, J. (2009). "Catatonia: clinical aspects and neurobiological correlates.". J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 21 (4): 371-80. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.21.4.371. PMID 19996245.

        (2) Fink M. Rediscovering catatonia: the biography of a treatable syndrome.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 2013;(441):1-47. doi: 10.1111/acps.12038
        Department of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus, Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY, USA.
        Abstract [edited]
        Catatonia, a disorder of movement and mood, was described and named in 1874. Other observers quickly made the same recognition. By the turn of the century, however, catatonia was incorporated as a type within [the] syndrome of schizophrenia. There, catatonia has lain in the psychiatric classification for more than a century. In the 1970s, the tie was questioned when catatonia was recognized among those with mood disorders. The recognition of catatonia within the neuroleptic malignant syndrome offered effective treatments of high doses of benzodiazepines and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), again questioning the tie. A verifying test for catatonia (the lorazepam sedation test) was developed.

        (3) Berry N, Sagar R, Tripathi BM. Catatonia and other psychiatric symptoms with vitamin B12 deficiency.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand 2003: 108: 156-159.ªBlackwellMunksgaard 2003.
        - Mod.JW

        A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

        See Also
        Undiagnosed cerebral disease - Kazakhstan: (AM) 20140329.2363058
        .................................................j w/msp/jw


        • #5
          Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

          The symptoms sound like they could also fit narcolepsy. I wondered about anti-NMDAR encephalitis due to the one case of hallucinations, but narcolepsy can involve hypnagogic hallucinations.

          Google translation:
          March 29, 2014
          Akim of Akmola region made some statement about the village Kalachi

          Schoolchildren of the village and township Kalachi Krasnogorsk be free to eat foods rich in vitamins. This was announced by Mayor of Akmola region Aytmuhametov Kosman, who visited these localities with a working trip, special correspondent Aslan Ospanov.

          According to the mayor, soon in Karachi village and town Krasnogorsk arrive 11 scientists from mobile laboratory for the study of possible causes sleeping sickness in prepositional resident. A group of scientists is going for a month to examine the uranium mines in the area. In addition, the expert wants to raise archive uranium industry in Stepnogorsk and get complete information about Krasnogorsk mine.

          "Village of Krasnogorsk included in the category of localities with low potential. Today, work is underway to resettle the remaining locals in other localities. With this goal in Yesil under construction 74-apartment house, "- said the head of the Region.

          "In the meantime, we intend to provide students of these two settlements free foods rich in vitamins, and send them to a nursing home. Further action will be determined after the results of Studies "- said Akim.

          Recall, the first case of sleeping sickness in Kalac was recorded a year ago. Then the doctors asked for help about 10 villagers. The last case was reported recently. Kalachi village where 680 people live, is a rural district Krasnogorsk. It is 600 meters from the former mining town of Krasnogorsk.
          This study has insight into why food rich in vitamins, (antioxidants), might be valuable if radiation exposure of some sort is involved:

          A PILOT STUDY
          “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

          Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)


          • #6
            Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

            Mysterious “illness” of sudden fall asleep in Kazakhstan

            May 22, 2014

            Residents of the almost abandoned town of Krasnogorsk and the areas around Kalachi village in Kazakhstan, are prone to a mysterious ‘sleeping beauty’ syndrome.

            The bizarre condition has people suddenly dozing off for as long as six days at a time...

            The weird sleeping illness comes in waves – the first one occurred in March 2013 and the second in May 2013. There have been three more since then – around New Year 2014, just after the winter holidays this year, and now again in May.

            A total of 40 to 60 people have suffered in the scarcely populated region. In most of the cases, the sleep is accompanied by temporary memory loss.
            Interestingly, the strange disease is not limited to locals. It extends to visitors as well...
            When the first epidemic occurred in 2013, doctors thought it was a case of bad quality vodka. But it turned out that none of the six people who fell asleep back then had consumed any alcohol. Several scientists have visited the remote backwater region, seeking explanations for the sleep epidemic. They conducted about 7,000 experiments on the area’s soil and water, on the victims’ blood samples, hair and nails. They tested homes for the presence of radon gas, high radiation levels, heavy metal salts, bacteria and viruses. All the tests proved inconclusive.

            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela


            • #7
              Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

              Intriguing. 7,000 tests done and thy still cannot find the cause. Can you be struck with this problem more than once? Could it be familial? Sudden ambient temperature spikes triggering episodes might suggest an organism which blooms, such as mold's algae's or fungus, or hatches like an insect. I wish I could be there to help.
              Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

              Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
              Thank you,
              Shannon Bennett


              • #8
                Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

                Here's some support for your interest in the temperature spike relationship, Shannon, though it's from a geological effect viewpoint.

                Siberian experts say they can solve the cause of mystery 'sleeping disorder'
                By The Siberian Times reporter
                16 May 2014

                The shocking 'sleep epidemic' in a village and nearby Soviet ghost town in Kazakhstan maybe caused by a nearby disused uranium plant.


                Scientists in Tomsk say they are convinced it is from a very different cause.

                Leonid Rikhvanov, professor of geo-ecology and geo-chemistry of Tomsk Polytechnical University, said: 'We know about this problem and are happy to take part in solving it. We have even obtained some results. We have studied the samples of uranium ore which Kalachi citizens sent us.

                'We tested the samples and came to the conclusion that radon gas is the reason, but it is not because of radioactive radon. It comes from chemical effect of the gas. In other words, the disease is caused by evaporation from the mine.

                But Tomsk scientists must prove it, and to do so they would need to visit and establish why some families are hit, and not others.

                'Unfortunately, the agreement for our help in this matter is not yet signed,' he said. One thought is more tests on heating vapours...
                There are more details and many photographs of the area. It does look very dusty so I don't think a biological toxin can be ruled out. I hope the Tomsk scientists are able to investigate. Symptoms sounds much like narcolepsy/catalepsy, but hopefully this is a temporary condition, unlike that.
                “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)


                • #9
                  Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

                  Published Date: 2014-09-14 20:13:11
                  Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Undiagnosed cerebral disease - Kazakhstan (03)
                  Archive Number: 20140914.2772224

                  A ProMED-mail post
                  ProMED-mail is a program of the
                  International Society for Infectious Diseases

                  Date: 19 Sep 2014
                  Source: [edited]

                  The residents of the Kazakh village of Kalachi are racking with a mysterious disease that could not be explained by a wide range of specialists in medicine and many other specialized fields.

                  The villagers complain of severe fatigue and constant desire to sleep. They can suddenly fall asleep in the most unexpected places -- at work, at school, in the street -- and sleep for several days. Nobody and nothing can wake them up. And after waking up, some of them lose memory, have hallucinations, and behave like in a dream.

                  The 1st case of the manifestation of this sleeping disease occurred in Kalachi in March 2013. And the disease breaks out once every few months. Ten percent of the village population exceeding 600 people has been infected with this disease.

                  The strangest thing is that despite the authorities' investigation with the involvement of local and invited specialists, the cause of the sickness remains a mystery. The scientists conducted thousands of experiments on soil, air and water in the village and the diseased patients, but the only thing they could say is that the people are quite healthy and the symptoms they experience do not fit into any of the known diseases.

                  Sleeping sickness, which is also called "human African trypanosomiasis," is a widespread tropical disease. But besides a permanent desire to sleep, the symptoms of this disease are different. Moreover, African disease is spread by a bite of an infected tsetse fly living dozens of thousands kilometers far from Kazakhstan. And bacteriological and viral tests on Kalachi's villagers have proved negative. Local people are in despair. They think the authorities are hiding the truth about the disease and invent a number of fantastic explanations for its reasons, from biology experiments conducted by western laboratories to aliens and God's punishment.

                  However, there are some versions which are more real at 1st glance. Kalachi is located in the vicinity of the former Soviet secret uranium mining town Krasnogorsk, which was closed after the Soviet Union's collapse about 20 years ago. Some people associate abnormal sleep with the abandoned uranium mine. But scientists working at the scene say that the radiation level is normal across the village. Moreover, the unfortunate Kalachi is the only village affected by this strange sickness, and the dwellers of other settlements located nearby and even those who worked in the uranium mine for all their life are safe and sound.

                  Local nuclear specialists also give assurances that radiation sickness does not produce sleeping effects. Western experts share their opinion on this issue. "In my work so far, I have never heard of radiation causing any sleeping disease," Britt-Marie Drottz Sjoberg, psychology professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who has lead and participated in a number of research projects related to public reactions to radiation, radioactive waste and environmental issues, told Trend by e-mail.

                  "I doubt that uranium is the cause of the sleeping sickness... There is no such thing as "normal" for radiation levels... They should be published and compared to places without uranium mining operations," Janette Sherman, M.D., specializing in internal medicine and toxicology with an emphasis on chemicals and nuclear radiation, who earlier worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at the University of California in Berkeley and for the U.S. Navy Radiation Defense Laboratory in San Francisco, and who published research on nuclear radiation, also told Trend by e-mail.

                  Now all the people suffering from the disease in Kalachi are diagnosed with encephalopathy of unknown origin, i.e. brain damage by unknown substance. The substance was not defined.

                  Kazakh Health Ministry reported that the disease had classic signs of narcolepsy, and some psychologists and psychiatrists explain the disease by massive psychosis.

                  "There have been many such unexplained events. Some of them have been caused by agents, such as a virus, that were discovered later, such as von economo encephalitis, others by vaccines; most have been unexplained medically and assumed to be mass hysteria," Maurice Preter, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry on the faculty of Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons and Adj. Associate Professor of Neurology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center told Trend by e-mail.

                  A special commission was created from specialists from several Kazakh ministries to investigate the situation in Kalachi. But the only problem revealed by the commission in the village so far was the higher level of radon gas in air. This gas, used in anesthesiology, could be the cause of the abnormal sleep, according to one of the numerous versions, the scientists say. However, the commission did not announce when the investigation is expected to be completed.

                  The last wave of the mysterious disease happened on 1 Sep [2014?]. Nine children fell asleep immediately after a festive ceremony on the occasion of the new academic year and slept for 2 days. And this time, the patients' symptoms have aggravated compared to the last year [2013]. The diseased people have nightmares, hallucinations and some signs of insanity. Thus, the problem requires a prompt solution and should not be delayed.

                  [Byline: Elena Kosolapova]

                  Communicated by:


                  [The article uses the words infected and disease, yet it has not been proven to be a disease, or a toxin or a genetic abnormality.

                  In 1916, von Economo 1st described encephalitis lethargica (EL), a CNS disorder presenting with pharyngitis followed by sleep disorder, basal ganglia signs (particularly parkinsonism) and neuropsychiatric sequelae. Since the 1916-1927 epidemic, only sporadic cases have been described. Pathological studies revealed an encephalitis of the midbrain and basal ganglia, with lymphocyte (predominantly plasma cell) infiltration. The EL epidemic occurred during the same time period as the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the 2 outbreaks have been linked in the medical literature. However, von Economo and other contemporary scientists thought that the 1918 influenza virus was not the cause of EL. Recent examination of archived EL brain material has failed to demonstrate influenza RNA, adding to the evidence that EL was not an invasive influenza encephalitis. By contrast, the findings of intrathecal oligoclonal bands (OCB) and beneficial effects of steroid treatments have provoked the hypothesis that EL may be immune-mediated.

                  Radon is a decay product from uranium. While radon does not produce the "sleeping syndrome" described here, it is not impossible to believe that it may be combining with something else, or exacerbating or initiating an immune mediated response.

                  The article also mentions human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness. It is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of the Glossina insect, commonly known as the tsetse fly. While the article rightly indicates that this insect is a long distance away, one has to wonder whether the insect could have been carried on a storm, or indeed whether a storm was present prior to the illness presentation. Further, what if another insect in the region is now capable of carrying the parasite?

                  Nodding syndrome is a syndrome with an undiagnosed cause or an available treatment. There are few similarities here, as nodding disease or nodding syndrome has thus far not been diagnosed outside of east Africa. However, one has to wonder whether this is similar in some way.

                  The description of narcolepsy found in the NIND website ( sounds similar. According to the NHLBI: "Some research suggests that environmental toxins may play a role in triggering narcolepsy. Toxins may include heavy metals, pesticides and weed killers"

                  Also see "One etiologic model for narcolepsy suggests that some environmental toxin selectively and irreversibly destroys hypocretin-producing cells in individuals with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DQB1*0602." Hypocretins are chemicals in the brain that help promote wakefulness. HLA marker for narcolepsy is HLA-DQB1*0602, which is found in over 90 percent of patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy (

                  While environmental toxins are mentioned as being a triggering agent for narcolepsy, the article does not specifically tell us whether heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium) were tested for in the environment or in the individuals. The article mentions toxins but not specifically which ones. There is a huge variety of toxins. One also wonders what samples were used to test the individuals and whether any genetic abnormalities were identified.

                  The fact that it may be a reoccurrence makes me wonder what is changing in the environment: more mosquitoes and therefore more pesticides? a change in the weather and more radon gas? a drought and change in the water supply? The possibilities that may or may not have been investigated are lengthy.

                  However, with various countries and agencies involved in the investigation, I am wondering why no one has submitted some of these samples to a "Time of Flight" detection to try to determine what the possible cause may be. - Mods.TG/ML


                  • #10
                    Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

                    Mysterious lethargy disease still raging in Kalachi village

                    KOKSHETAU. Sept 5 (Interfax-Kazakhstan) – More than sixty incidences of "sleeping sickness" have been recorded in the village of Kalachi, Akmola region, since March 2013.

                    Since the end of August this year, 21 people have been reported sick with sever fatigue symptoms with four new cases this week: a 23 year old woman, a woman of 64 and two teenagers of 12 and 17 years old.

                    Experts from the Kurchatov National Nuclear Center and Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology (Semey) have been invited to the scene to study the case...
                    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)


                    • #11
                      Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

                      Mysterious sleeping sickness terrifies Kazakhstan
                      In the village of Kalachi, in the Akmolinsky region of Kazakhstan, another outbreak of mysterious "sleeping sickness" was reported. Three villagers were taken to hospital with symptoms of "encephalopathy of unknown etiology," Interfax reports with reference to the press service of the regional police.

                      On Wednesday, September 3, the local hospital received three patients - a 64-year-old woman and two minors - of 12 and 17 years of age.

                      As of September 2, as many as 15 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the so-called "sleeping sickness". The number of those, who either suffered or recovered from the disease, made up more than 60 people - about ten percent of the population of the 680-strong village of Kalachi.


                      Kazakh media say that the number of those, who suffered from "sleeping sickness" is a lot larger than was officially reported. According to KTK TV channel, soon after celebrations of the start of the new school year on September 1, nine children went into hibernation. Having come back home from school, they would literally collapse, parents said. After waking up, the children were behaving inappropriately. They suffered from delusions and hallucinations; some had to be tied up as it seemed that they intended to hurt themselves.

                      In addition to children, seven adults fell victims of the mysterious disease as well. Among them, there is a doctor of the rural hospital. The woman has been sleeping for five days already. Her neighbors help the woman at her home.


                      Some of the villagers have been hospitalized with the same diagnosis several times. In all cases, the patients suffered from fatigue, drowsiness, memory loss and weakness. After "waking up", the people do not return to their normal lifestyle. Adults complain of memory lapses and headaches, while children show very little activity.
                      “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                      Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)


                      • #12
                        Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

                        Mystical sleeping sickness rampant in Kazakhstan
                        ASTANA - 27.11.2014 13:33:24

                        A mysterious illness that puts people to sleep has been for almost two years rampant in a small Kazakh village called Kalachi.
                        Kazakhstan’s Healthcare and Social Development Ministry told Trend Nov. 26 that a working group that investigates the strange sleeping sickness has ruled out its viral or bacterial nature.
                        “The preliminary results of the studies on biomaterials taken from the sick allow for the moment to rule out the viral and bacterial nature of the disease,” the ministry said...
                        “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                        Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)


                        • #13
                          Re: Kazakhstan: Outbreak of unexplained cerebral disease

                          Villagers in Kazakhstan Are Falling Asleep En Masse for No Apparent Reason
                          December 15, 2014
                          Mark Hay

                          Residents of a small village in Kazakhstan are falling asleep at random, sometimes for days at a time, and no one knows why. Since the spring of 2013, the village of Kalachi in the Akmolinsk district (whose name derives from aqmola, a Kazakh term that ominously translates to the white tomb), 150 miles south of the Russian border, has suffered from at least four outbreaks of the disorder. As of the latest wave, from late August to early September, over 60 people, or 10 percent of the town's population of 680 had been affected. Last week, RT released a documentary on the problem titled ​"Sleepy Hallow, Kazakhstan." Locals told the reporters that they fear one day they'll fall asleep and never wake up again.

                          Classified as an encephalopathy of unclear origin—the highfalutin term for a weird brain disorder we can't figure out—villagers who do not simply keel over while moving or working report feeling weakness, dizziness, and memory and motor control loss. At least two children have reported hallucinations as well: Misha Plyukhin saw flying horses and light bulbs, his mother with eight eyes and a trunk, and snakes and worms in his bed, trying to eat his arms; Rudolf Boyarinos cannot remember his visions, but four people had to calm and subdue him as he screamed "monsters!" The sleep is so deep that some locals fear an old man they assumed was dead could have been buried alive.
                          Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                          The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


                          • #14

                            Mysterious sleeping illness that knocks sufferers unconscious for days plagues Kazakhstani town
                            In the summer 60 cases of the mysterious disease were reported
                            Jack Simpson
                            Tuesday 20 January 2015

                            Kazakhstani medical experts have been left scratching their heads over a mysterious sleeping illness that has led to residents of a town in the north of the country falling asleep for days at a time.

                            Kalachi, a town in the Akmola Region, has been given the title Sleepy Hollow , with one in ten of its residents having been struck down by the unexplained illness in the last two years.

                            The first case was confirmed in 2013, but locals say that the disease has been present in the town as early as 2010.

                            Since then it has grown rapidly, with a reported 126 cases confirmed...


                            • #15
                              Still no clue as to what is causing sleep sickness in Kazakh village

                              By Anna Liesowska & Derek Lambie
                              16 February 2015
                              Radiation expert says radon gas is not to blame, as anxious residents open their hearts about the difficult decision to leave the place they call home.
                              The growing crisis comes as concerned residents continue to leave in their droves, with officials saying they plan to close off the entire village by May.
                              More than a dozen experts are working in the area to fathom out what is causing the epidemic, with unexplained high levels of carbon monoxide having been reported in the air.
                              But Sergei Lukashenko, the director of Kazakhstan's National Nuclear Centre's Radiation Safety and Ecology Institute, insisted he is 'positive this is not radon'.
                              He added: 'Carbon monoxide is definitely a factor, but I can’t tell you whether this is the main and vital factor. The question is why it does not go away. We have some suspicions as the village has a peculiar location and weather patterns frequently force chimney smoke to go down instead of up.'...

                              I would not underestimate the harm inversions and wood smoke can do.
                              “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                              Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)