8 Of The Most Mysterious And Rare Diseases That Have Affected Humanity
The human body is a miracle of nature.
But despite evolution and countless advances in medicine, there are diseases that leave us baffled. Strange and often inexplicable, there are brave people all around the world who have lived through painful and often misunderstood illnesses.
#1 Water Allergy
What Does It Do? – Typically developing later in life after giving birth, hormonal imbalances cause painful rashes and skin reactions when exposed to water.
How Many People Does It Affect? – About 30 cases have been recorded worldwide.
#2 Field’s Disease
What Does It Do? – Named after Welsh twins Catherine and Kirstie Fields, it is a neuromuscular disease that causes eventual deterioration of muscles leading ot an inability to walk or speak without assistance.
Doctors have not been able to find any underlying cause and don’t even know what the disease looks like after progression because of its rarity.
How Many People Does It Affect? – The Fields twins are the only two recorded cases of the disease in history
What Does It Do? – Turns your skin blue. A result of the body producing too much of a certain type of haemoglobin that turns the blood a deep brown and the skin blue.
How Many People Does It Affect? – The disease is incredibly rare. With the main recorded case being that of the Fugate family in the 1800’s and 1900’s.
#4 Foreign Accent Syndrome
What Does It Do? – Gives speakers a unique and recognizable inflection. Scientists initially believed it was purely psychological but realized that cases around the world were exhibiting the same change in pitch and irregularities.
How Many People Does It Affect? – There have been 60 cases recorded worldwide
What Does It Do? – Fuse your bones together. The body begins to replace connective tissue like tendons and ligaments with bone. Painful and crippling, the disease eventually results in loss of mobility and troubling unhinging the jaw and even breathing because of bone growth around the ribcage.
How Many People Does It Affect? – Several hundred cases have been reported worldwide. The disease is believed to affect about one in a million people.
#6 Treeman Syndrome
What Does It Do? – EV or Epidermodysplasia verruciformis is classified as being extremely susceptible to the HPV virus. The uncontrolled growth of the virus causes calluses or bark like growths, especially o the hands and feet.
How Many People Does It Affect? – The disease is incredibly rare with only7 to 8 known cases globally
#7 Jumping Frenchman Syndrome
What Does It Do? – The disease is popularly called “The Jumping Frenchman of Maine” because it was first observed by George Miller Beard in Maine. He observed members of an isolated lumberjack community who seemed ot be suffering from an overactive startle reflex.
They would instinctively react to commands and even presented with echolalia (repeating vocal stimuli) and echopraxia (repeating physical movements). The isolated incidents and similarity with Tourette’s syndrome have made many doctors question its legitimacy.
How Many People Does It Affect? – Doctors have reported cases other than the that in Maine, but the topic is still hotly debated
What Does It Do? – The disease presented itself in the members of the Fore tribal communities in New Guinea.
In initial stages, the person may suffer from an unsteady gait or muscular tremors. Eventually second stage symptoms like uncontrollable episodes of laughter, emotional instability and clinical depression. This is accompanied by ataxia (loss of muscular control) which worsens till the person would be unable to sit unsupported.
The third stage is characterized by difficulty swallowing and unresponsiveness. Eventually, large lesions that can be easily infected appear on the body leading to death by infection.
How Many People Does It Affect? – The disease was observed amongst the members of Fore tribe only. A physician named Carleton Gajdusek realized that the tribe practised cannibalism on bodies of their deceased. The disease disappeared as the practice of cannibalism was phased out.
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