Very peculiar symptoms characterize some weird medical conditions that they are often the subject of speculation among the general population. Here is a list of the 10 most controversial ones.
10. Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS)
This condition is primarily characterized by mysterious enlargement of body parts. The part that is disproportionate with the rest of the body may be the feet or fingers, the head, an area of the torso, or the pelvis. Leg length discrepancy could lead to difficulty in walking, but if the physical deformities are not extremely disabling, people with KTS lead otherwise normal lives. The other two main symptoms are varicose veins and skin pigmentation. Affectation of the veins may cause ulcerations on the skin and symptoms of pain, which require immediate medical attention.
9. Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS)
PSAS is a weird medical condition in women that is more physical than psychological in nature. It is characterized by sudden onset of sexual arousal and is distinct from excessive sexual desire or nymphomania. All the sensations that accompany female sexual arousal are present and may occur at any time of the day and sometimes last for hours on end. Efforts to be relieved of the sensation could cause disruption in everyday life. Genital stimulation and sexual contact are often not successful in relieving the sensations. Most women also suffer from physical pain due to clitoral swelling brought about by the constant heightened aroused state. PSAS is only recently considered a medical condition and its origins are still unknown.
Hypertrichosis is a medical condition wherein the person affected has abnormal hair growth. This condition can be congenital, or it can manifest later in life. The etiology or cause of the condition is not exactly known. Dubbed “Human Werewolf Syndrome,” many persons afflicted have been featured in various shows as curiosities, their peculiarities marveled at in the carnivals of the 19th century, and even in the present time. Persons with hypertrichosis have no other serious threats to their health.
7. Child Insomnia
Child insomnia is not a very common issue, but it has been observed in young children the world over. In one controversial and media-covered case, child insomnia was tied to a condition called Chiari malformation. In this particular brain malformation, a section of the brain is herniated out into the spinal cord resulting in squeezing of the brainstem. The brainstem houses many important structures. Amongst its many functions is the control of the sleep-wake cycle, heart rate and respiration. It must be noted however that Chiari malformation is an observation that involves only one child who did not sleep for a period of time. It is not yet an absolute cause of child insomnia, though it may have something to do with it. The definitive causes of child insomnia had never been studied yet.
6. Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)
Some survivors of cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), more commonly known as a stroke, or traumatic brain injury (TBI) go through the recovery phase with a peculiar change in their speech. Aside from the aphasias that could affect CVA and TBI patients, there are instance when the person’s manner of pronouncing consonant and vowels differ from how their speech was before the damage to the brain occurred, thus the term, “Foreign Language Syndrome.” The person does not speak a foreign language that he or she did not speak before. Rather, the person speaks with a particular accent that is so far removed from his or her own natural speech. In effect, the person’s speech sounds like the speech of people from another region. It is believed that this is due damage to areas of the brain that mediate speech, but there is still much speculation in the medical community about FAS.
5. Fregoli Syndrome
Fregoli Syndrome is associated with stroke or CVA, seizure disorder, trauma to the head, and Alzheimer’s. Symptoms respond well to anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants. This syndrome is characterized by the afflicted person’s strong belief that the people around him or her have morphed physically into another person or total strangers. The assumed change may involve gender and ethnicity but not personality. Essentially a person with Fregoli Syndrome believes that a person he or she knows had been inserted into the physical shell of another person.
4. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
A very rare disorder known as Progeria causes person’s affected to age prematurely and suffer from the diseases of advanced age. The typical life expectancy of children with Progeria is 13 years, though some live to be 21 years old. The shortened life span is due to occurrence of cardiovascular disease and other ailments that are only seen in old age. Despite accelerated aging that is very evident in the physical appearance of the person, the cognitive and psychological state of the person is age-appropriate. The first signs of advanced aging appear at around 2 years of age. This is tied to a genetic defect in a certain structural protein found in the nucleus of the cell.
3. Cotard’s Syndrome
Known more popularly as “Alien Hand Syndrome,” this psychological disorder is very rare. The afflicted individual firmly believes that they are dead inside, soulless and lifeless. Despite the obvious fact that they breathe and move about in the real world and are otherwise healthy, they continue believing in their zombie-like state. This form of delusion has been tied to severe clinical depression and people affected may also experience auditory hallucinations and symptoms of schizophrenia. Cognitive function remains unimpaired, and people with Cotard’s syndrome remain independent in activities of daily living.
2. Fish Odor Syndrome
Trimethylaminuria, popularly known as “Fish Odor Syndrome” emit a noxious odor through their body sweat, their breath and urine. This problem is due to the body’s inability to process and break down a chemical compound with a fishy smell that is found in the food that they eat. Though a definitive treatment is yet to be discovered, people with trimethylaminuria respond positively to certain antibiotics and a strict diet.
1. Congenital Insensitivity to Pain
Not feeling any pain whatsoever sounds great, but insensitivity to pain puts a person at risk of further injury. Pain serves as a signal to the body to avoid certain objects or situations that are harmful to them. People born without the ability to perceive pain (and temperature as well) only realize they are already injured when the physical damage is already significant. Children with hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) are especially in danger of being injured as they go about their daily play activities.
These weird medical conditions are so far removed from our everyday experiences that they pique our curiosity. But, we must not be insensitive of the difficulties and the impairments that the persons afflicted have to overcome every single day.
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