10 Very Strange Rare Diseases

Between genetic disorders and psychological disorders, there is a panoply of diseases as disturbing as they are fascinating.  From were...

Between genetic disorders and psychological disorders, there is a panoply of diseases as disturbing as they are fascinating. From werewolf syndrome to fibrodysplasia, here are 10 rare , strange diseases that are certainly worthy of your worst nightmares.

Hypertrichosis or werewolf syndrome

Supatra Nat Sasuphan suffering from hypertrichosis (werewolf syndrome)
Photo credit: guinnessworldrecord
The hypertrichosis is far from the most painful disease, but it remains one of the "crippling". As you may have guessed, the subjects who suffer from it have a strong and literally invasive hairiness.
Caused by hormonal deregulation, genetic factors or by taking certain medications, this condition can affect women as much as men. Among the best known cases, that of Pedro Gonzales, the inspiration behind the famous beast of Beauty and the Beast … 

Foreign hand syndrome

Alien Hand Syndrome
Photo credit: youtube.com
The foreign hand syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that can occur following injury or brain tumor.
As the name suggests, people who suffer from it lose control of one of their hands. The hand in question seems indeed to act under the will of someone else ... This hand very often attacks the patient himself.

Pica or eat what you can't eat ...

Objects found in a patient with pica disease
Photo credit: wikipedia
The Pica is an eating disorder characterized by the desire to ingest inedible things, like the earth, the hair, but also chalk, plastic or even metal and rock.
This disorder, often associated with a pervasive developmental disorder or even autism, generally appears in young children. This pathology can obviously lead to serious health problems, especially in the stomach. The pica is a rare condition, without treatment, can disappear as mysteriously as it appeared.

Capgras syndrome

Lookalikes sitting on a bench
Photo credit: James Woodson - ThinkstockPhotos
The delusion of illusion of Capgras lookalikes (also called lookalike illusion ) is a psychiatric disorder leading the patient, yet able to identify the physiognomy of the faces, to affirm that the people around him have been replaced by lookalikes. 
This delusional syndrome, first described in 1923, is more common in patients with neurological or psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, brain trauma or dementia.

Progeria or early aging

Sam Berns with progeria, surrounded by his parents
Photo source: artery.wbur.org
The Progeria is an extremely rare genetic disease affecting children from birth. First manifested with growth retardation, accelerated aging follows - hair loss, aging of the skin (wrinkles, embrittlement), atherosclerosis, cardiovascular problems, etc. The average life expectancy for children with it is 15 years.
This video presents a conference by Sam Berns, himself suffering from progeria. He died at 17.

Fybrodysplasia or stone man disease

Progressive ossifying fibrodysplasia - FOP (stone man disease or Münchmeyer disease)
Photo credit: themedicalbag.com
The fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), also called human disease of stone or Münchmeyer disease, is a rare genetic disease.
Manifested by a progressive ossification of the skeletal muscles and tendons, the patient can become severely limited in his movements, like a stone statue ... Bone thrusts are also very painful and the patient's life expectancy can decrease around 40 years. This orphan disease  affects around 1 in 2 million people.


Person suffering from elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis)
Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health
The elephantiasis , or lymphatic filariasis is a disease associated with Joseph Merrick and  Elephant Man , though it actually suffered from another disease, Proteus syndrome . The main symptom of elephantiasis is that of an excessive increase in the volume of a limb or part of the body caused by edema . If it affected more than 120 million people in 2007, it could be eradicated by 2020.

Allergic… to water!

Example of reaction caused by aquagenic urticaria
Photo credit: wisegeek.com
Some people may suffer from hydroallergy , a condition that causes reactions caused by contact with cold, drunk or touched water. The reactions can be more or less serious, ranging from aquagenic urticaria to pruritus  until loss of consciousness (hydrocution).

Xeroderma pigmentosum

Little girl suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum
Photo credit: James Halpern, Bryan Hopping and Joshua M Brostoff
Also called vampire disease (not to be confused with clinical vampirism), xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare disease of genetic origin that is passed on from generation to generation.
This disease caused by a deficiency in DNA repair mechanisms leads to excessive sensitivity of the skin to the Sun, eye disorders and an exponential risk of developing skin or eye cancer. There is currently no treatment.

Cotard or undead syndrome

A zombie man to illustrate cotard or undead syndrome
Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org
Patients with this rare syndrome feel their organs rot and in some cases even believe they have died. Associated with anxiety disorders and depression, this serious disorder can lead the patient to let himself die, especially when he believes he is already dead … 
Do you find these diseases surprising? Wait until you discover these disturbing mental illnesses and psychological disorders ... 



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WikiFortress: 10 Very Strange Rare Diseases
10 Very Strange Rare Diseases
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