WALKING CORPSE SYNDROME
This condition is also known as Cotard's Syndrome. People who suffer from this syndrome believe they're dead or have organs or body parts missing. They may also believe they have no soul. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can disappear allowing patients to fully recover. Because this condition is so rare, the etiology is unknown. it can be a component to other psychiatric illnesses such as depression. Treatment of this disorder can include Antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.
FOREIGN ACCENT SYNDROME
This rare syndrome is usually caused by a stroke, trauma or a tumor that affects the particular part of the brain associated with speech. The patient will begin to speak with a foreign accent and this symptom can be permanent. Speech therapy can be utilized, but is not always successful.
JUMPING FRENCHMEN OF MAINE DISORDER
The medical name for this syndrome is hyperplexia. The symptoms usually begin at birth and consist of uncontrollable startling, jumping and falling (stiff-baby-syndrome). The condition was initially named after a group of French-Canadian lumberjacks in Northern Maine. Benzodiazepines are usually effective in the treatment of this disorder.
ALIEN HAND SYNDROME
This syndrome is also known as Dr. Strangelove Syndrome, after the 1964 film. The symptoms include uncontrollable limb and hand jerks. The disorder is usually the result of damage to the corpus callosum in the brain, from a stroke, trauma or a tumor.
This strange syndrome is named after the werewolf type appearance of the patient, It consists of excessive hair growth and is caused by a genetic mutation known as congenital hypertrichosis lanuginose. The hair growth may occur all over the body, or in one area. There is currently no treatment for this disorder.
FISH ODOR SYNDROME
This is a metabolic disorder that prevents metabolism of trimethylamine (TMA), the chemical byproduct of protein digestion. TMA is associated with the fishy odor that is present with decaying protein. The patients have a fishy odor present in their perspiration, breath and urine and there is currently no cure, although the patient will be advised to avoid foods high in TMA, such as peanuts, eggs and other proteins.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND SYNDROME
The medical name for this disorder is Todd's syndrome. Like the character in the 1865 novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," who went through shrinkage and expansion, this disorder causes migraine headaches so severe that they actually distort the patient's perception of both size, distance and time. It typically affects children.
Do you know any other strange or rare medical disorders? Or have you come across any of these in your nursing career?