Occam's razor is a concept that is used to help during the problem-solving process. Occam's razor states that the simplest explanation to a problem is likely the correct one. In the field of medicine, a form of Occam's razor exists in which health care professionals learn that "if you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras."
What this means is that when you have a list of symptoms from a patient, think of the most common reason that this person has the symptoms they are showing. Don't automatically assume that the patient has the worst possible disease for those symptoms. One example of this would be when a patient visits a doctor and complains of a headache and sensitivity to light and sound. This patient likely is suffering from a migraine even though those symptoms would also be present in a brain tumor.
The field of medicine has been changing and evolving since man first appeared on Earth. Over the course of millions of years, humans have been able to understand and cure many diseases that used to be fatal. Even though we know so much about what can hurt and kill us, some conditions still make doctors scratch their heads in wonder. Sometimes, the hoofbeats are zebras.
9 Alice In Wonderland Syndrome
8 Alien Hand Syndrome
7 Congenital Insensitivity To Pain
6 Aquagenic Urticaria
5 Cotard's Syndrome
4 Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
3 Kleine-Levin Syndrome
2 Fatal Familial Insomnia
1 The Jumping Frenchmen Of Maine
The number one strangest disease that you have never heard of is the jumping Frenchmen of Maine. The disorder is similar to the fainting goats because the Frenchmen jump and goats faint due to an overly developed startle reflex. The cause is not known, but the most popular theory is that it is a type of psychiatric disorder brought on through operant conditioning that is specific to the culture of the Frenchmen. When a jumping Frenchman is startled, reactions can be swearing, repeating a word or phrase like a parrot, copying the behavior of someone nearby, and following through on commands such as run, punch, or jump. These people would not blindly respond to these simple commands, but when they are startled, they will. Symptoms of the jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder begin to present themselves during puberty. A person with this affliction will see symptoms subside as the person ages.
Sources: Pica, Alien Hand Syndrome, Aquagenic Urticaria, Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, Fatal familial insomnia, Alice In Wonderland Syndrome, Congenital Insensitivity To Pain, Cotard's Syndrome, Kleine-Levin Syndrome, Jumping Frenchmen Of Maine
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