10 Weirdest Diseases You've Never Heard Of
We're all familiar with various diseases like Diabetes, Cancer, and Alzheimers. However, there are other, less conventional diseases lurking around the world with stories begging to be told. Some of them have effects you may never have heard of, while others are new twists on familiar ailments. In this article, we will put 10 of the weirdest diseases in the world under the investigative microscope to see what we can uncover!
1) Congenital insensitivity to pain
There have been at least 100 documented cases in the United States of people who report the lack of painful sensations from things like pin pricks on their skin. The cause? A gene mutation that takes place in the synthesis of of a certain sodium channel involved with the neurons that control the reception and transmission of pain stimulus. While this disease might sound advantageous, think again! Those without pain sensations often die early deaths from simple injuries, things like small cuts that others would feel and bandage. By contrast, those with congenital insensitivity to pain cannot feel such things and can actually suffer significant blood loss because of them.
2) Moebius Syndrome
Each year, some 300 children in Europe are discovered to have Moebius Syndrome, a rare disease characterized by the lack of developed facial nerves and the subsequent loss of facial expressions. The cause is totally unknown to medical researchers, and the effects are serious. Those with Moebius Syndrome are often seen sleeping with their eyes open. They also cannot smile, frown, move their eyes in a lateral direction, or control their blinking. Naturlly, their speaking and swallowing abilities are also greatly impaired.
3) Ondine's Curse
Roughly 200-300 people around the world are afflicted with Ondine's Curse, which is Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome. Those afflicted with the Curse have a very difficult time taking in oxygen, which leads them to be very tired very often. In more severe cases, sleep literally means a certain death. They simply cannot take in oxygen while they are in an unconcious state and without the aid of a machine, they will die.
4) Elephantiasis (Grossly enlarged members)
Elephantiasis (or lymphatic filariasis) is typified by people with grossly enlarged legs or arms. The cause? Parasitic worms like the Wuchereria bancrofti and B. timori that get transmitted by mosquitoes. Roughly 120 million people have some form of elephantiasis worldwide, and of them 40 million have it to a serious extent. The troubling aspect of this disease is that symptoms can take years to manifest even after the initial infection. This is because an infected female misquito can inject the worm larvae into a person's bloodstream, where they will reproduce and spread before becoming visible in the form of symptoms like enlarged arms, legs, breasts, and genitals.
5) Werewolf Syndrome
2 year old Abys DeJesus led doctors to conclude that she had "Human Werewolf Syndrome" when she grew patches of dark hair on her face. Very simply, the reason behind the name is that people who have it look very much like werewolves. Rumor has it that two brothers afflicted with the disease in Mexico were offered a part on the X-Files, but turned it down!
6) Pica (Urge to eat non-food substances)
Hard as it may be to believe, there is actually a rare disease known as Pica that creates the incredible urge to eat things other than food. Substances such as paper, clay, dirt, glue, and even lint have been reportedly eaten by those with Pica. Medical researchers have tenuously linked Pica with a mineral deficiency, but experts have yet to nail down a real, firm cause or cure for this strange disorder.
PrPSc evolves from a completely benign, harmless protein that sits outside of cell membranes called PrP. In rare instances, PrP can mutate into a shape called PrPSc whereas the protein will bundle into clumps. These clumps are the source of the problem, as they cause plaques in the brain that actually tear holes in the brain's grey matter. The end result is a brain that resembles a sponge and exhibits symptoms very similar to mad cow disease.
8) Necrotizing fasciitis (Flesh-eating bacteria)
Necrotizing fasciitis is a nasty strain of the more common Strep bacteria that causes Strep throat. Once inflicted, the strain feasts on the soft tissue found in the subcutaneous level of your skin. There, it kills all skin and flesh in its path, causing it to literally rot away. In extreme cases, necrotizing fasciitis can consume entire limbs or very large and visible patches of skin! Worst of all, it can enter the body through minory injuries like cuts and bruises.
9) Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
Also known as Micropsia, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome causes victis to have a malfunction in how their brain processes visual data, despite the lack of any problem with their eyes. The result is that objects, other people, animals, and the like are percieved by the victim as being much smaller than they really are. Victims have reported looking at dogs and seeing them as the size of mice, or looking at people who are quite tall but seeing them as much shorter. The disease got its name from the fact that Lewis Carrol (the author of Alice in Wonderland) was believed to be afflicted with it.
10) Capgras Syndrome
Everyone has second thoughts about their relationship once in a while, but what if you thought your significant other was an imposter? That's exactly what happens to people who have Capgras Syndrome. Victims of this awful disease consistently report thinking that their loved ones or significant others are being impersonated by other people. In severe cases, this has resulted in the victim attacking who he thinks is the imposter, but is actually the relative or boyfriend/girlfriend in question. Some victims even second guess their own reflections in the mirror!
Want More Information?