The human body is a mystery, even for people with medical expertise. This October, we’ve compiled a set of obscure medical conditions that might be overlooked or misdiagnosed by health care professionals.
While these illnesses may seem appropriate for Halloween, their effects can be devastating to the patients who suffer from them.
At David C. Rash, P.A. we understand that someone’s misery only increases when doctors cannot explain what’s wrong or offer treatment options.
#1: Cotard’s Syndrome
Also known as “walking corpse syndrome” and “Cotard’s delusion,” Cotard’s syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder in which the afflicted believes they have lost their soul, are missing body parts, or have already died. Sufferers may refuse to eat or drink, neglect their hygiene and physical health, or spend time in morgues or cemeteries. Symptoms can be alleviated with psychotherapy and medication.
#2: Alien Hand Syndrome
Generally referred to as AHS, Alien Hand Syndrome is a rare motor disorder in which one hand acts independently of the individual’s wishes. Typically, the alien hand does a purposeful activity, like buttoning clothing, or counters the behavior of the other hand. In some cases, patients are terrified of their own hand because it attempts to hurt them. Brain scans of AHS patients demonstrate lesions in the parts of the brain tied to motor control, planning, and sensory relay. There is no cure for AHS, but keeping the alien hand occupied with activity and controlling it with the other hand can help those who suffer.
#3: Stone Man Syndrome
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) or “stone man syndrome” is a rare genetic condition in which muscle and connective tissue turn into bone over time. While the patient’s body is trying to protect them from muscle and tissue damage, it ultimately forms a second skeleton and causes immobility. FOP affects an estimated 1 in 2 million people worldwide and is caused by a mutation in the ACVR1 gene. While there is no cure or treatment, identifying this rare illness can help advance research.
Why Diagnoses Matter
Although some of these conditions do not have a cure, diagnosing them is crucial to both the patient and the future of medical science.
As difficult as it would be to have any of these conditions, can you imagine your horror if you started turning to stone or hanging out in graveyards and you didn’t know why?
Diagnosis is an important part of the medical profession.
No matter how rare your illness, we will listen to your story during a free consultation.