Do you have any idea of strange and rare diseases? Find in this article the 21 most rare and strange diseases.
Every February 28, humanity celebrates the international day of so-called rare or orphan diseases. Medicine is progressing by leaps and bounds: scientific breakthroughs and new discoveries by researchers have made it possible to treat diseases that were once considered incurable. But, some health problems continue to put doctors in default.
We are all afraid of being sick. It is not without reason that health is what is most precious, and it is the first wish we wish for our dear ones. We fled the flu in the winter, we hate the uncomfortable gastroenteritis, and we protect ourselves in carnal relationships to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. As we age, we pass all the necessary tests to detect cancers. But there are also rarer, sometimes unexplained, diseases that actually exist.
What are Strange and Rare Diseases?
Strange and rare diseases are diseases with a low prevalence of between 1 / 1,000 and 1 / 200,000 according to national definitions. To date, it is estimated that there are between 5 000 and 8 000. Although each affects only a few individuals, their wide variety means that the number of people concerned exceeds, in France, the number of patients suffering from cancer.1. The vast majority of strange and rare diseases (around 80%) are of genetic origin. Patients often suffer from it all their lives (although some symptoms may be present only at certain stages of disease progression); in the case of congenital diseases, the five-year mortality rate is 30%.
The good thing about rare diseases is that they only affect very few people in the world. What is less good with these rare diseases is that they affect only very few people in the world: lack of means for research, lack of concrete cases to study, lack of awareness of public opinion, doctors are sometimes helpless in the face of these exceptional cases. And it must be said that we understand them: we must not be trained to treat werewolves in medical school.
In this article, we have selected the 21 most strange and rare diseases.
1 – Disease of Dercum
Dercum’s disease mainly affects obese women. So if you are a skinny man, it should be fine. If we have everything well, pockets of fat are created under the skin and, you can imagine, it hurts a lot. These pockets have the consistency of “bags full of worms”.
2 – Aquatic Hives
Also known as water urticaria, it is sometimes classified as allergies. People with this extremely strange and rare disease have urticarial lesions on their skin on contact with water. Its symptoms can last from minutes to hours. Most specialists are skeptical about the theory that it is an allergy to water, pointing out that the human body is 80% composed of it, and explain the watery urticaria by excessive sensitivity to ions. present in undistilled water, including chlorine.
3 – Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Behind this rather complicated name lies a disease that affects the nervous system of people immuno-depressed by AIDS or leukemia for example. This beautiful crap is manifested by various neurological disorders and not very funny (movement disorder, sense, tremors) leading to death in a few months. Bruno Carette, the excellent comic artist of Dummies died in less than 2 months.
The pathology affects the nervous system of people immuno-depressed by AIDS or leukemia, for example. The various neurological disorders and disorders of movements, senses, tremors leading to death in a few months, are among the symptoms.
4 – Hutchinson-Gilford Syndrome (Progeria) or Early Aging
The origin of the term “progeria” comes from the ancient Greek, Geron, which means old man. This very rare disease affects children from birth and is due to the mutation of a missing gene in parents. Children suffering from this disease experience accelerated aging characterized by hair loss, lack of hair, the fragility of the epidermis, as well as cardiovascular problems. The life expectancy of these children is currently more or less 12 years. For a long time, this disease was a mystery in the medical world. It was only in 2003 that a team of French doctors, led by Nicolas Lévy, discovered the origin, and in 2008, these same researchers have developed a protocol to improve the living conditions of patients as well as their longevity.
Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome (or progeria) is an extremely rare genetic disease. People who suffer from it have very young features of aging: the appearance of wrinkles, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular problems, and hair loss. Their average life span is about 15 years and the first symptoms appear in the first years of the life of the child at the age of 18 months. For the moment this disease is incurable.
5 – Fahr Syndrome
A patient suffering from Fahr’s syndrome sees small stones pushing him into the brain if we schematize a little. Areas of the brain calcify causing motor disorders, lack of coordination and involuntary movements that can recall the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Its development is very slow but can be fatal in a few years.
He has almost the same symptoms as Parkinson’s disease. Because of the calcification of certain areas of the brain, the patient has motor disorders and involuntary movements. The course of the disease is very slow but is often fatal.
6 – The Syndrome of the Exploding Head
This disease is also psychiatric. We might think that it is accompanied by intense pain, however, this is not the case. It is at the moment of falling asleep that the person hears deafening noises like explosions or loud sounds. The causes of this rather terrifying syndrome are unknown but would be more common in stressed and anxious people.
7 – Progressive Ossificans Fibrodysplasia
It is characterized by progressive ossification of skeletal muscles and tendons as a consequence of inflammatory processes. This genetic disease, which is accompanied by pain, is caused by the mutation of the R206H gene on ACVR1 / ALK2. For the moment, no cure for this condition has been developed.
Fibrodysplasia ossificans or the disease of the stone man. Here is an inherited disease whose manifestations are young (between two and five years old). Progressively, the muscles turn into bone plates, thus preventing the joints from functioning normally. The affected person may then be totally unable to move. Unfortunately, it is impossible to treat fibrodysplasia because interventions only stimulate their progression. However, research conducted in 2006 would have identified the gene mutation of this disease.
8 – Hypertrichosis
Hypertrichosis is less ugly than the other diseases seen so far, but it is still damn disabling. Because of a hormonal imbalance, the subjects who suffer from it are covered with hair, sometimes completely. It is assumed that this is where the myth of the werewolf originated, which is seen in the way the hair covers the face of the very few people suffering from this genetic anomaly.
9 – Micropsia
Also known as Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, micropsia is disorientation that results in the affection of human visual perception when objects appear smaller than they actually are. Different objects or their parts may appear to the affected people distant and close at a time. This distortion of perception results from psychic changes.
10 – Foreign Hand Syndrome
Anarchic or foreign hand syndrome is a very rare neurological disorder that, as its name indicates, sees the sufferer losing control of his hand. The latter acts as if it were guided by another brain. On the few cases studied, there was a total rejection of the limb by the patient who began to speak to his hand, to strike with this hand, sometimes even to accuse him of being possessed.
It is a complex and extremely rare psycho-neurological condition that results in uncontrollable movements of one or both hands. The first case of this disease was described in 1909 by the German neurologist Kurt Goldstein who was following a patient whose own left hand was strangling during sleep. After the death of the patient, he found that the brain of the patient was damaged which prevented the transmission of signals between the two hemispheres. He inferred that this is what gave rise to the symptoms in question.
11 – Reye’s Syndrome
This disease is very serious because it affects important vital organs, the liver, and the brain. An accumulation of fat is said to be the cause of this very rare disease that would cause liver failure. But, this syndrome wreaks havoc in the brain causing significant inflammation. The victims are usually young (from three to twelve years old). The causes are not really known, but this disease may be associated with taking drugs containing salicylates (aspirin) during the flu, for example.
12 – Cotard Syndrome or “Living Dead”
It is a mental disorder that is accompanied by a delirious state associated with the ideas of immortality, damnation, the negation of an organ – some affected people are convinced that one of their organs is rotten, disintegrated or volatilized – or denial of the body (the patient already believes himself dead).
13 – Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
This genetic disease is not very spectacular and most often asymptomatic even if it increases the risk of developing other crap such as pulmonary emphysema or liver diseases. This deficit is most often found in northern populations such as Latvians or Danes.
14 – The Pica or the Desire to Eat the Inedible
Pica is part of eating disorders just like bulimia. This disease particularly affects children and women. It is characterized by ingestion of inedible elements, including chalk, mud, metal, and rock. This eating behavior is often related to autism, and there is no treatment. Psychotherapy is then advised. In pregnant women, these strange cravings are due to iron deficiency. In general, this disease disappears naturally.
15 – Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spinal muscular atrophy is a group of inherited diseases that are characterized by more or less marked atrophy of the muscles. There is currently no curative treatment, but the life expectancy of patients has increased in recent years thanks to an improvement in the care of patients.
16 –Potomania or the Desire to Drink Excessively
This mania is characterized by an uncontrollable need to drink water improperly (10 liters or more per day). The pathology is often psychiatric and brings the patient to fill emotional needs. We could say here “drink his emotions”. Potomania is also found in people with diabetes or kidney problems. However, the body is not formed to absorb as many liquids. This behavior can have serious health consequences, and can even lead to death.
17 – Parry-Romberg Syndrome
As for Parry-Romberg, nothing too pleasant because it is a very rare disease attacking the skin and facial tissues. The latter is deformed (most often on one side) and the patient has a high risk of paralysis. It is so rare that its causes are still unknown, even though we know that the symptoms occur before the age of 20 years.
18 – Jargonaphasia or Speech Disorder
A person with this psychiatric illness will utter inappropriate or unintelligible words, phrases, phrases. Generally, the patient does not realize that he mixes words, that he invents or inverted syllables, which makes the speech quite incomprehensible.
19 – Mowat-Wilson Syndrome
Mowat-Wilson syndrome is a cocktail of disgusting stuff that we do not know much about as patients are rare: deformation of the head slowed and diminished physical development, intellectual retardation, genital and cardiac abnormalities, epilepsy and even chronic constipation.
20 – Necrotizing Fasciitis
It is a rare infection of the skin completely disgusting caused by streptococcus or certain bacteria. These produce very harmful toxins that eat the skin at a blazing speed: the death rate is 30%. How totally disgusting like a trick!
21 – Osteogenesis Imperfecta or the Disease of Glass Bones
This disease is characterized by a large fragility of the bones and a weakness of the bone mass. Fractures are therefore very frequent, even in minor incidents. The living conditions of those affected are therefore particularly painful. This condition is related to an abnormality of collagen, a protein essential for the maintenance of the tissues of the body. Osteogenesis imperfecta differs from patient to patient, making medication difficult. All cases must be treated separately. In addition, surgical procedures (wire pin) are inevitable and the use of analgesics is necessary to relieve pain.