Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disease In Pork Plant Workers Updated

Date:
February 24, 2009
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
More than a year after developing a unique neurological disorder, the affected pork processing plant workers have improved, but all have some continuing symptoms and many have ongoing mild pain, according to a new study.

More than a year after developing a unique neurological disorder, the affected pork processing plant workers have improved, but all have some continuing symptoms and many have ongoing mild pain, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle.*

The workers developed symptoms such as walking difficulties, weakness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, pain and fatigue. All had worked in or near the area where compressed air was used to extract pig brains. All plants have discontinued the practice.

For the study, researchers reexamined 24 of the workers affected at plants in Minnesota and Indiana. Of those, 17 were treated with immune therapy such as steroids. Sixteen people improved with treatment; 12 had marked improvement, two had moderate improvement and two had mild improvement. Six of the people who had no treatment also improved after they were no longer exposed to the pig brain mist.

Neurologists have identified the illness as a new disorder that is a sensory predominant polyradiculoneuropathy. The patients all have a unique antibody not seen before. The disease affects the nerves, and can usually be identified by standard tests (nerve conduction studies and EMG), although in four mild cases specialized tests were needed to detect the abnormalities. The disease seems to improve with treatment and removal of exposure to pig brain.

The disorder likely has an autoimmune basis, with workers exposed to the pig brains developing an autoimmune response that caused nerve damage. The researchers hope that further studies on this disease will aid understanding of other autoimmune disorders. "There are other autoimmune disorders where the trigger is not known, so this case with a known trigger could provide us with an opportunity to understand how an antigen can trigger the body's immune system to produce disease," said study author P. James B. Dyck, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

*April 25 to May 2, 2009.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Disease In Pork Plant Workers Updated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224163550.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2009, February 24). Disease In Pork Plant Workers Updated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224163550.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Disease In Pork Plant Workers Updated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224163550.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins