We often find ourselves infected with diseases such as bacterial infections or fever. But, we should be glad that we are only inflicted with such mild diseases that are still curable. There are other people who are inflicted with diseases that are expensive to treat or have no possible means of treatment. These rare diseases have been on for several years now but doctors and scientists have never found a cure nor know the cause of it. Here are your top 5 mysterious medical cases.
Hyperthymesia which is also known as piking is a rare condition wherein the individual can recall past experiences without any difficulties. Although one might think that the recalled memory is easy to acquire but the memories are often distant and specific. A person with hyperthymesia can recount every detail of the specific memory. It is also known as highly superior autobiographical memory or HSAM. A person with hyperthymesia is thought of as someone who is always in deep thinking or spends a large amount of time thinks about his or her past experiences as he always plays them in his mind. The person also has a specific ability to recall any memory even at specific times of his life. Individuals with hyperthymesia are able to recall any memory of any day of their lives in near-perfect detail.
By 2013, there have been 13 cases of hyperthymesia. The first-ever case was a patient named AJ who has undergone research by the University of California. Elizabeth Parker, Larry Cahill, and James McGaugh are all credited as the first individuals who have hyperthymesia. There are also insurmountable difficulties experienced with people with hyperthymesia.
The constant irrepressible stream of memories can cause a significant disruption in the normal activity of the individual. It is like living in the past all of the time. Most patients with hyperthymesia reports getting lost in memory most of the time and space out in conversations. It is relatively little to no known cause of hyperthymesia.
Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone and control often triggered by heightened emotions such as anger, rage, happiness, or even mere laughter. It is a very rare disease that affects less than 5 people in every 10,000 individuals. People with narcolepsy are more prone to having cataplexy in as much as 70 percent. However, cataplexy can occur even without the onset of narcolepsy. The cause for cataplexy is unknown but there have been studies that prove hypocretin, a neurochemical, as well as intense emotions to trigger the onset of the disease. Cataplexy is derived from the Greek word meaning down and stroke.
The manifestation of cataplexy is simple. Muscular weakness or loss of control happens when a person feels a sudden surge of emotions such as anger or fear. They may drop the objects they are holding or feel their knees weakening or simply drop their jaw.
These attacks may result in complete muscular paralysis and postural collapse which can result in a possible injury. However, people who experience postural collapse seem to avoid injury as the fall is slow and progressive in nature. Cataplexy is different from narcolepsy as the individual is wide awake when the attack begins, happens, and ends.
3. Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder or potent sexual arousal syndrome is a disorder most prevalent in women. It is the persistent and uncontrollable genital arousal in women that may or may not lead to orgasm even without any feelings of sexual desire. Most women with PGAD often feel the sudden rush of an orgasm about several times a day to every hour of the day. It is in no way related to hypersexuality or nymphomania as the onset of the disorder is not triggered by any sexual desire. It is also not categorized in any DSM-IV literature. Symptoms include physical arousal and can be very intense and persist throughout the entire day or sometimes can last for weeks.
Symptoms can be very disruptive as it is very uncomfortable and distracting for individuals to even commit a simple conversation without the feeling of intense pleasure from an orgasm. Most individuals experiencing PGAD associate the disorder with feelings of pain instead of pleasure due to how constricting and mundane the disorder can become. It can also come to a point that individuals with such disorder resolve to suicide.
Treatments can be done through different methods such as psychotherapy using cognitive reframing pointing out the arousal as a healthy response. Anti-depressants and anesthetizing gels can also help reduce the amount of sensitivity to the area.
Lipodystrophy is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal degeneration of fat in the body. The term is derived from the Greek word fat and abnormal condition. Lipodystrophy is also associated with lipoatrophy wherein there is an abnormal loss of fat in the specific area of the body. The face is usually the area affected by such disorder. The condition increases the body’s rate of burning fat which disables it to store any fat in the system. In order to survive and continue with the normal process of the body, a person with lipodystrophy needs to eat more than an average person. Weight problems will surely plague a person with lipodystrophy.
John Perry is one of the well-known individuals with this type of disorder. Doctors have found that he has more than 6 times the number of insulin than any normal person would have which leads to the fact that he is able to break down food quickly. Lipodystrophy can be caused by metabolic abnormalities due to genetic issues but antiretroviral drugs have been known to cause lipodystrophy as well.
Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome or also known as progeria is a very rare disease that resembles the aspects of aging at a very early age. Individuals with progeria typically live to their mid-teens or early 20s.
The incidence of the disorder is known to be very rare only affect 1 in 8 million people. It is a genetic condition that occurs a new mutation and is rarely inherited. Children with progeria usually develop early signs and symptoms during the early months of life.
They develop skin conditions then most symptoms become apparent thereafter including hair loss, loss of eyesight, cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, wrinkled skin, and other symptoms that old-aged people experience. No treatment has been proven effective against progeria and treatment is focused on reducing the symptoms experienced by the individual.