Letter to the editors Nodding syndrome (NS) and Onchocerca Volvulus (OV) in Northern Uganda
Nodding Syndrome (NS) is a childhood neurological disorder characterized by atonic seizures, cognitive decline, school dropout, muscle weakness, thermal dysfunction, wasting and stunted growth. There are recent published information suggesting associations between Nodding Syndrome (NS) with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) VGKC antibodies and serum leiomidin-1 antibody cross reacting with Onchocerca Volvulus (OV). These findings suggest a neuro-inflammatory cause of NS and they are important findings in the search for the cause of Nodding Syndrome. These observations perhaps provide further, the unique explanation for the association between Nodding Syndrome and Onchocerca Volvulus. Many clinical and epidemiological studies had shown a significant correlation between NS and infestation with a nematode, Onchocerca volvulus which causes a disease, Onchocerciasis, some of which when left untreated can develop visual defect ("River Blindness"). While these studies conducted in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan indicate a statistically significant association with (OV infection (using positive skin snips), we observe that (OV is generally endemic in many parts of Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America and that to date, no NS cases have been recorded in those
regions. This letter to the Editor is to provide additional information on the current view about the relationship between Nodding Syndrome and Onchocerca Volvulus as seen in Northern Uganda.
Key words: Nodding Syndrome, Onchocerca Volvulus, Uganda, Gulu