Medical Mysteries, Bizarre Cases

James_H

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Brain Worm!

Brain-Invading Tapeworm That Eluded Doctors Spotted by New DNA Test
Genetic sequencing of spinal fluid hailed as an advance over standard procedures for diagnosing brain infections
By Kat McGowan on June 22, 2017

Doctors at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital could not figure out what was wrong with the 29-year-old man sitting before them. An otherwise healthy construction worker from Nicaragua, the patient was suffering from a splitting headache, double vision and ringing in his ears. Part of his face was also numb. The cause could have been anything—from an infection to a stroke, a tumor or some kind of autoimmune disease. The Emergency Department (ED) staff took a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the man’s brain, performed a spinal tap and completed a series of other tests that did not turn up any obvious reason for the swelling in his brain—a condition that is formally known as encephalitis.

Most likely, it was some kind of infection. But what kind? Nineteen standard tests are available to help clinicians try to pin down the source of encephalitis, but they test for the presence of only the most common infections; more than 60 percent of cases go unsolved each year.Physicians looked in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid (which surrounds the brain and protects it) for evidence of Lyme disease, syphilis and valley fever, among other things. Nothing matched. So the S.F. General ED staff settled on the most likely culprit as a diagnosis: a form of tuberculosis (TB) that causes brain inflammation but cannot always be detected with typical tests. Doctors gave the man a prescription for some steroids to reduce the swelling plus some anti-TB drugs and sent him home.

Soon he was back, however, with the same symptoms. This time the physicians assumed the man, whose life was chaotic, had not been taking his drugs properly. (Even people with regular jobs and schedules often find taking TB medications fairly difficult.) The ED staff sent him away with another prescription but he returned again and again—even after he could prove that he was taking his medication correctly and on time. The drugs helped briefly after each visit, but the symptoms always returned. During that year his medical bills reached $580,000. Finally, S.F. General turned to an experimental test that is designed to uncover the source of virtually any neurological infection. ...

https://www.scientificamerican.com/...-that-eluded-doctors-spotted-by-new-dna-test/
Another mind-parasite:

Teen dies from tapeworm eggs in brain
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a rare example of a corneal keloid - a growth or lesion on the surface of the eyeball itself ...
Here's Why This Man Had a Giant White Mass on His Eyeball
It looks like a Hollywood special effect: An eye with a bulging white mass where the pupil and iris should be. But this odd eye problem is the result of a rare lesion on a man's eyeball, according to a new report of the case.

The 74-year-old man arrived at an eye clinic with a pearly white, jelly-like mass on his right eye, according to the report, published April 4 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. The man told his doctors that two years earlier, he'd had cataract surgery on his right eye. Afterward, he'd noticed a scar on his cornea — the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eyeball — that gradually thickened over the next six months ...

Doctors performed a procedure to remove the mass and examined some of the eye cells under a microscope.

Test results showed that the man had a "corneal keloid," a rare type of lesion on the cornea ...

A corneal keloid is "an extremely rare, abnormal growth of tissues that is like scar tissue" on the cornea ...

Indeed, it's so rare that, more than a century since it was first identified, fewer than 100 cases have ever been reported ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/65169-eye-lesion-corneal-keloid.html
 

Tribble

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A 99-year-old Oregon woman may have died not knowing that many of her organs were not where they should've been.

Rose Marie Bentley is thought to be the oldest person with a rare condition called situs inversus with levocardia, meaning that her heart was in the right place, but her liver and other abdominal organs grew on the left side of her body – the opposite of typical human anatomy.

Medical students at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland discovered Bentley’s condition during a gross anatomy class last spring.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/...n-woman-99-organs-wrong-side-body/3405878002/
 

Shady

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I wonder what happened to them why they were in a coma, does anyone ever talk about it? Do they dream?
 

brownmane

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I wonder what happened to them why they were in a coma, does anyone ever talk about it? Do they dream?
There is an interesting book "Into the Gray Zone" by Adrian Owen,a neuroscientist who writes about his research in which he found, through the use of brain scans, that some people who are in comas, and thought to be vegetative, can show responsiveness to simple yes/no questions. I found it easy to understand and enthralling.
 

Lizard King

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I have sat beside people who have been in a coma {No I havn't put them in that state telling them a story or with my general banter}and I have wondered "where"they are and what they are experiencing. The people I have known to have come of the coma state have described nothing of what they experienced.
 

escargot

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Not a coma story but maybe similar:

Years ago my Gran had severe dementia and couldn't be left alone. She would often doze in a chair and when she was awake would claim to see children running through the room or dogs or cats wandering about, or people walking in and out of the room. She rarely recognised anyone who was really there.

Anyway...

One day my brother and his mates decided to do a ouija board. He was at university, across the country from Gran.
The board spelled out a message from a woman with the same first name as Gran, who seemed to be in a panic because she didn't know where she was or what was happening.
Bro began to wonder if Gran had died and the news hadn't reached him yet!

He rang home and found that all was well, although Gran had been napping in her chair around the time of his seance and had woken up in some confusion. He was sure she'd been astrally travelling and found him.

Some years on from this the TV drama series Afterlife showed a woman in advanced dementia who could leave her body to talk to a psychic.
It reminded me strongly of my by then long-deceased Gran!
 

Lizard King

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I was listening to a story on radio 4 {so rock and roll and no i'm not over 70}about people with dementia who suddenly become lucid just before death. There have been numerous accounts of people witnessing family members with dementia remembering people around them who they had forgotten, just before they die. It was described at times as if the person had been elsewhere but returned.However there was no official written medical account.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's another "tree man syndrome" (epidermodysplasia verruciformis) patient - this one in Gaza. I'm pleased to report this article relates how well his many surgeries and other interventions have succeeded in helping him live a more normal life.
'Tree Man' Gets Pioneering Surgery for Rare Skin Condition

A man in Gaza with an extremely rare skin condition dubbed "tree man syndrome" says his life has been changed by a pioneering surgical treatment, according to news reports.

The man, 44-year-old Mahmoud Taluli, has undergone four surgeries in the last two years to remove extensive, wood-like lesions on his hands, according to NPR. Prior to the surgeries, Taluli hadn't been able to use his hands for more than a decade.

"After years of suffering and solitude, I can finally live a normal life," Taluli told NPR. "I can play with my children. I can go to family events. I no longer need to cover my hands when I go out in public."

Taluli has a rare genetic condition called epidermodysplasia verruciformis, which makes him much more susceptible to skin infections caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), compared with the average person, according to a 2010 report of the condition published in the journal Disease Markers.

People with this condition have immune system problems that prevent them from properly fighting off HPVs — a group of more than 150 related viruses. In healthy people, HPVs often don't cause symptoms, but in people with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, the infections lead to the formation of wart-like skin lesions, which progress to malignant tumors in about 50% of patients, according to the 2010 report.

There is no cure or standard treatment for the condition. Taluli's treatment has involved doctors making deep incisions into the skin to remove thousands of lesions, NPR reported. This tissue removal often requires skin grafts from other parts of his body to help with healing. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/65907-tree-man-gaza-surgery.html

SEE ALSO: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsa...ndrome-says-he-can-finally-live-a-normal-life
 

escargot

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I was listening to a story on radio 4 {so rock and roll and no i'm not over 70}about people with dementia who suddenly become lucid just before death. There have been numerous accounts of people witnessing family members with dementia remembering people around them who they had forgotten, just before they die. It was described at times as if the person had been elsewhere but returned.However there was no official written medical account.
Don't think I heard that, can you recall which programme it was?
 

Frideswide

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Years ago my Gran had severe dementia and couldn't be left alone. She would often doze in a chair and when she was awake would claim to see children running through the room or dogs or cats wandering about, or people walking in and out of the room. She rarely recognised anyone who was really there.
was it Lewey Body? (sorry intrusive question). One of my tasks as Activities Manager was helping people to see the children, animals, dogs, fairies, dwarves and goblins as friendly and non-threatening.
 

escargot

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was it Lewey Body? (sorry intrusive question). One of my tasks as Activities Manager was helping people to see the children, animals, dogs, fairies, dwarves and goblins as friendly and non-threatening.
What a great job! Nope, it was common or garden Alzheimer's Dementia as far as I know. The sort where pious people start swearing foully and disliking folks they previously loved.

(My sister's posh mother in law had it. She began doting on my sister, whom she'd always despised as TOTALLY below her darling son, and viciously hating the other daughter in law who'd been the apple of her eye. Sis found it hilarious.)
 
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