The world of rare diseases and medical conditions might not sound exciting at first, but it is certainly very diverse and full of examples that may surprise you. Some of those have been around for ages, and people were used to see individuals suffering from them in the circus. Others are too gruesome and you probably never seen an individual suffering from them, simply because their lifespans don’t allow them to be part of the normal society. Some are neither gruesome or evident at first, but are outright weird.
In the medical community, such rare diseases are known as “orphan diseases”, makes you wonder why. My guess would be that many babies with such diseases have been abandoned by their mothers. Whatever the case is, those conditions are extremely rare (thank god for that).
#1. Alien hand syndrome
Image Source: YOUTUBE
The Alien Hand Syndrome is a condition in which a person’s hand is outside of his/hers control and sometimes even acting on their own. The term is actually used for more than one condition, but they all share this symptom, which usually tends to affect the left hand.
People suffering from this report lack of sensation in the affected hand, and the hand performing certain actions without their guidance. One could even involuntarily reach for an object with that hand. The afflicted person has absolutely no control over the actions of the hand, and usually the only way to stop it from performing a certain action, is to use the other hand to restrain it.
The Alien Hand Syndrome is not a disease and has been documented mostly in subjects that had underwent brain surgery. Most of the data is gathered from people that had their brain hemispheres separated from one another, which is a procedure usually done on people suffering from epilepsy. In rare cases this condition might occur after strokes, infections, tumors, aneurysm, migraine and some degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no cure for this syndrome, but there are several treatments that do provide good results. One of the best treatments is to keep the afflicted hand busy with something else, a good example is a patient who was given a cane for when he is walking. He didn’t need the cane for its usual purpose – to assist him in walking, but while gripping on the cane the hand did not attempt any other actions. Other treatments include intense training into controlling the hand, which is sometimes successful, and some physicians assume that this way the brain is able to reestablish some of the broken connections.
It is certainly a bizarre condition and I can’t help but think of the 1999 movie “Idle Hands”, where the main character’s hand was possessed by some demonic forces.
H/T – Source
Image Source: Wikipedia
Meaning “small head” in Greek, babies born with this condition have deformed heads, usually much smaller than the normal.
It is caused by problems with the development of the child’s brain while still in its mother’s womb. Sometimes the brain ceases to grow at all, which leads to the skull not growing to accommodate the larger brain.
It is an extremely rare condition, that is usually paired with Down’s syndrome. Some believe that it might be a consequence of the fetus being exposed to harmful substances during the pregnancy. Those born with this condition are in most cases mentally retarded and with lowered life span.
There have been however cases, where babies with this condition have been able to grow and develop normal intelligence.
There is no treatment and no way of fixing the size of the child’s head.
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