28.1 C
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Nodding Syndrome – Causes and Symptoms

- Advertisement -

Nodding Syndrome(NS) is a neurological condition with a mystery. The name might sound innocuous but it is deadly. It is a form of pediatric epilepsy.

- Advertisement -

NS is a form of epilepsy which mainly attacks children between the age of 5-15 years. However, there are cases where reports have shown NS in kids less than 2 years and adults up to 32 years. NS causes progressive cognitive dysfunction, stunted growth, neurological deterioration and the characteristic “nodding off.”

Moreover, a child experiences seizure as they are being fed. The epileptic seizures weaken the head and the neck muscles. Thus their heads tend to fall forward. Although the mortality rate is not known, it is definitely big.

When Was the First Case of NS Reported?

NS was first documented in the United Republic of Tanzania in the 1960s. Later in the 1990s, other cases were reported in Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda. Until this date, only this areas have reported cases of NS. There is no definite number to showcase how many people have been affected.

However, there are feature seizures have a been reported in Liberia and Taiwan. It is believed that the parasitic disease extends much further than the three corners of East Africa. It extends in western Africa, Central and South America. Although there are no cases which have been reported in the later areas.

A lot of studies have tried to link NS with Onchocerca volvulus. Researchers believe that NS is an “autoimmune” disease which occurs when the infected persons try to fight off the worm.

Onchocerca volvulus is a tiny nematode which is spread by the bite of black flies. The black flies are known to cause river blindness which is an eye infection found in East Africa.

However, it has become a hard task for epidemiologists to prove that the worm indeed does cause NS. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health conducted researches among the people who live in this regions.

What did the Study Say?

The study found out that there were no traces of the worm in the brain nor in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The team further looked at the antibodies.

It was discovered that there were high levels of antibodies which was tailored to leiomodin-1. Moreover, leiomodin-1 was also present in cerebrospinal fluid.

- Advertisement -

This was the first time researchers were discovering leiomodin-1 in the nervous system. This is because previous studies prove that it is commonly found in the muscles. It is commonly produced by nerve cells.

According to Tory Johnson, of America’s National Institutes of Health confirmed that leiomodin-1 antibody is toxic if it is isolated. This confirms the theory that NS is autoimmune meaning that the victims with NS attack their own brains.

These findings were further conducted. It was found that when healthy neurons are treated with serum from a person with NS, they did not survive. However, if they removed the antibodies against leiomodin-1, the neurons survived.

This begs the question why does the infection with O. volvulus should cause this antibody to be produced in the first place? Dr Johnson and her team have discovered that the worms produce a protein known as tropomyosin. Apparently, it has the same similar features as leiomodin-1.

However, it was not only tropomyosin which was found but a whole lot of similar proteins. The worm proteins are quite similar with human chemicals.

This explains why the antibodies which attack worm proteins lead to damage and harm in the human body. The antibodies bind with leiomodin-1 which incorrectly attacks the brain cells which contain protein. This, therefore, leads to an attack of NS.

These findings have further emphasized the efforts of getting rid of river blindness. Thus if it is eliminated then high chances are that NS will also be eliminated.

Moreover, the research raises the need to know if other parasites cause other forms epilepsy. For instance, Pinworms attacks millions of kids around the world. Thus it is possible that these infections cause this forms of epilepsy.

A Look at the Future

Studies are still being conducted to research to understand the unknown antibodies. The role of leiomodin-1 is still tantalizing especially in healthy individuals. Thus the question still begs can healthy individuals develop NS?

Whatever the details are current research has proved that NS may be caused by river blindness.

- Advertisement -
Nodding Syndrome
  • Save
- Advertisement -

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Kingsley Felixhttps://kraftysprouts.media
Based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. I am the founder of Krafty Sprouts Media, LLC (US), i make sure thing run smoothly and well organized in our organization. Follow me on my social media platforms.
- Advertisement -

Trending Now

The Importance of Looking after your Eyes

Your vision has a big impact on your overall health and well being. A good eye care routine can help you maintain optimum eye...
- Advertisement -

Skin Rashes: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Home Remedies

Skin rashes are common skin problems experienced by millions of people worldwide; it is characterized by a visible change in the color...

Atis Fruit: 10 Health Benefits of Eating Sugar Apple

Sugar apple (Atis fruit), is the Annona squamosa fruit belonging to the natives of West Indies and to the tropical Americas like Peru, Mexico,...

How to Increase Sodium Levels in Your Blood?

Levels of sodium in the blood is often a misunderstood topic and it is extremely necessary that we as individuals understand the meaning and...

Spider Bites: Symptoms, Treatment & Identification

Spider bites in the United States are often annoying but they are rarely fatal. If a person gets bitten by a black...

What Causes Pain Between Shoulder Blades?

Shoulder blade is in the upper side of your back, the scapulae, which become prominent if you pull your elbows close to your trunk...

Oral Surgery Recovery – What Foods to Eat

Had oral surgery? Then it’s very hard to have foods while in recovery. An oral surgery makes you feel weak and nauseous. So it’s...

7 Types of Disability and Examples

For disabled people life is a lot different than the rest of us. They don’t lead normal lives like we do and need assistance...

How to Deal With a Jealous Sister-in-law?

Getting along with sisters-in-law or potential sisters-in-law could be very frustrating whether or not they had a very tight bond with their...

MRI Scan – Definition, Uses, and Procedure

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a popular procedure all over the world. MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to form...

8 Ways to Remove Dandruff Without Washing Hair

There are about 50 million Americans are diagnosed with dandruff which is an alert problem. Dandruff not only cause damage to your...



Nurture yourself with health tips, wellness advice, and more.

- Advertisement -

Related Posts

Mastitis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed our babies. Mothers are encouraged to engage in exclusive breastfeeding for their babies because breast...

How to Get Healthy Nails With Simple Home Remedies?

Nails are an essential and often overlooked part of your body. Devoting some time to nail care is just not limited to creating shiny...

Hepatitis C: 27 Things to Know About It

Hepatitis C is an infection that affects the liver and it is caused by the Hepatitis C virus. The Hepatitis C virus is one...

Hemorrhagic Colitis: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

Hemorrhagic colitis is an inflammation of the stomach and the large intestine. It is caused by a strain type of Escherichia coli,...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Nodding Syndrome
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap