Disease has existed since time immemorial. It has also mutated in its interaction with the environment into several categories that can be described as either malignant or benign. Some of these diseases are downright bizarre. For example, the fish odor syndrome. As weird as it sounds, the fish odor syndrome is a serious issue. It occurs when a certain body enzyme is produced abnormally. The result of this is a strong fish-like odor emitted through the urine, sweat and breath. Another example of a bizarre disease is the alien hand syndrome. Sufferers of this syndrome lose control over their hands. They have hand movements, but these movements are not initiated by their brains.
In the 1700s, Jules Cotard identified another bizarre disease. He observed patients of this disease were convinced of being dead. They were also convinced that some of their body parts were missing, and they had no need to eat because they were dead. He also noticed that most of them died as a result of this belief. He called the disorder Cotard’s Syndrome. How about going to sleep and waking up with an entirely different accent from the one you went with to sleep? This bizarre disorder is called the foreign accent syndrome. Sufferers develop a completely different accent from their usual one, which is mostly caused by stroke.
How about having water allergy such that you cannot even cry? Here are 10 of the most bizarre diseases in humanity:
10. Walking Corpse Syndrome
Also known as the Cotard’s Syndrome, the walking corpse syndrome is a rare mental condition in which the victim is convinced that he or she is dead. The victim also believes that his or her body parts are missing and some end up dying from starvation since they believe they have no business eating. Haley Smith is one such person who suffered from Cotard’s syndrome. She suffered from it for three straight years until she got over it with the help of a therapist. Cases of this ultra-rare disorder date back to the 1700s when Jules Cotard first identified them.
9. Water Allergy
Probably one of the weirdest diseases on our list, water allergy is scientifically known as Aquagenic urticaria. As the name suggests, victims of this rare disorder are allergic to water. Patients experience a painful skin reaction when they come in contact with water. This pain can increase if the water contains chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine. Barbara Ward is one unfortunate victim of this disorder. She says that she has to stay away from rain and even sweat because they could kill her. She is even careful when watching tearjerkers. She was diagnosed with the condition after a shower gave her a severe anaphylactic shock.
8. Stone Man Syndrome
This extremely rare disorder is scientifically known as Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. It mainly affects connective tissues. It occurs when the body’s repair mechanism causes muscles, tendons and ligaments to become frozen in place. Bones usually replace these tissues. A child with this syndrome always has big deformed toes. It starts at the neck and proceeds downwards into the limbs. However, the condition is very rare, only affecting approximately 1 in 2 million people worldwide. There is no known cure for the disorder. Surgeons have attempted removing the bone, but that has only led to more vigorous bone growth.
7. Foreign Accent Syndrome
This rare medical condition causes a person to develop a foreign accent overnight. The disease usually is caused by stroke but head trauma and migraines may also cause the syndrome. Afflicted people do not acquire a specific foreign accent. They also do not acquire any additional fluency in a foreign language. The condition was first documented in 1907 by neurologist Pierre Marie. Speech errors associated with the syndrome include voicing errors such as “Kate” for “gate”, vowel distortions such as “yeah” for “yah”, and having trouble with consonants. Kate Locket is an example of a patient with the Foreign Accent Syndrome. She went to bed with a Staffordshire accent and woke up with a Polish one.
6. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
The Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a disorienting neurological condition also known as Todd’s syndrome. Patients with the condition usually suffer size distortion. Their sense of vision, sensation, touch, and hearing is adversely affected. They also experience excruciating migraines and altered body image. The victim may find it difficult to comprehend the size of his or her body parts. They may also have an altered perception of other objects. The use of psychoactive drugs as well as brain tumors may cause this temporary syndrome. Additionally, migraines are also common causes of the Todd’s syndrome. Reports suggest that a lack of sleep can also cause the Alice in Wonderland syndrome. So be sure to get enough sleep every night, people.
5. Kleine–Levin Syndrome
Also known as the Sleeping Beauty syndrome, this rare disorder is characterized by recurring periods of excessive amounts of sleep. Patients also experience altered behavior and mood changes. The condition may occur in both young people and adults. Patients afflicted by this condition normally sleep the whole day and night and only wake up to eat or go to the toilet. This behavior may last up to months. It gets chaotic for the victim if they do not have anybody to care for him or her. They lose out on work opportunities, school and even important home activities such as payment of bills. Several drug therapies exist for the treatment of the syndrome.
4. Lewandowsky-Lutz Dysplasia
The layman calls this illness the Treeman illness. Patients of the disease have a high susceptibility to human papillomaviruses of the skin. This results in growths that resemble a type of tree bark on the hands and legs. The disease is mainly caused by types 5 and 8 HPVs, which are normally harmless to the vast majority of the population. Conclusive treatments have not yet been made, but patients are normally treated with acitretin for six months. Interferons, retinoids and Cimetidine have also been used effectively before. Ion Toader is a victim of the disorder. He was diagnosed by Carmen Madeleine Curea, a dermatologist, in 2007.
3. Parry–Romberg Syndrome
The Parry–Romberg syndrome is primarily characterized by the rapid shrinkage of tissues beneath the skin. It is usually manifested on one side of the face but can be experienced on other parts of the body. Initial changes start at the lower jaw. These changes then extend to the nose, the mouth, areas in the region of the eye, the eyebrow, the ear, and the neck. The tongue and the gums may also be affected. The disease starts at between 5 and 15 years of age. There is no cure or treatment that can stop the syndrome yet. However, reconstructive surgery may be needed after the disease has stopped regenerating.
2. Fish Odor Syndrome
When you suffer from the fish odor syndrome, you will primarily smell like fish for the rest of your life. It occurs when the production of enzyme flavin containing monooxygenase 3 is abnormal. This causes the body to lose the ability to properly convert food during digestion. The waste then builds up and is released through sweat, urine and breathe, giving off a strong, fishy odor. The syndrome often starts at birth and the cause of this embarrassing disorder is unknown. Patients are normally treated with the use of acid lotions, dietary restrictions, acid soap, activated charcoal and copper chlorophyllin.
1. Alien Hand Syndrome
The Alien Hand Syndrome involves a hand involuntarily moving without being controlled by the patient. A patient may reach out for an object or even wave at people, all without the control of the hand. The person can feel the sensation in the hand, but they believe that the hand behaves independently from their body. Patients who have had their two brain hemispheres separated have a high chance of experiencing the alien hand syndrome. This procedure is usually done to reduce epileptic symptoms. Brain surgery, stroke, brain infections, brain tumors, aneurysms can also cause this syndrome.
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