Friday, April 1, 2011

5 real-life conditions that sound like hoaxes

No April fools here, real conditions that people have. Do you have a disorder?

Navigating the Internet on April Fools Day means falling for a lot of silly pranks and fake "news" stories. We would never do that to you. Here, we give you five very real medical conditions that sound like we just made them up. Happy April Fools!
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine: You really don't want to prank these guys on April Fools' Day. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is an extremely rare neuropsychiatric disorder that causes an exaggerated startle reaction. Something as small as an unexpected poke in the ribs can cause sufferers to jump, scream, flail their arms, hit or throw things, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
The oddly named condition is a nod to the French Canadian lumberjacks in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine -- the original jumping Frenchmen. The cause is unknown, although some researchers believe that a behavioral disorder is at the root of the strange condition, while others argue that it's caused by a gene mutation.
Fregoli delusion: What if your sister, your boyfriend, your boss and your next-door neighbor were really all the same person, who was constantly altering her appearance in order to fool you? Sufferers of Fregoli delusion believe (very, very mistakenly) that different people in their lives are actually the very same person, using an elaborate array of disguises and costumes to trick them.
It's related to Capgras delusion, a rare psychiatric disorder that causes a person to believe her friends or family members have been replaced with impostors. And like Capgras, psychiatrists believe it's the result of troubles with facial perception, which can be caused by traumatic brain injury.
Swallowing syncope: Ever eat such a good meal it made you feel faint? In 2007, UCLA reported a strange case of a 68-year-old woman who was standing at the sink, drinking a glass of milk  -- when she suddenly fainted. Three months later, it happened again, this time while she was eating a bagel. Swallowing syncope -- or, fainting after swallowing -- is unusual, but not unheard of; case reports date back as early as 1958. In this woman's case, doctors prescribed an anticholinergic medication, which stopped her from losing consciousness when swallowing.
Kung fu colitis: This is the sad story of a blow to the stomach that resulted in bloody diarrhea, a trip to the emergency room and an eventual diagnosis of colitis for one poor 21-year-old dude. The cramps and bloody mess started an hour after he was kicked in class, and it was still happening the next morning, according to a case report in this month's Annals of Emergency Medicine. He was observed for 12 hours in the ER, and then sent home with strict instructions to stick to a clear-fluids diet.
Spasmodic dysphonia: Is it a crime if one can only speak in rhyme? About 30,000 Americans suffer from a mysterious condition called spasmodic dysphonia, which means the parts of their brains controlling speech have malfunctioned. Strangely, many sufferers have found they aren't able to speak in their normal voice -- but if they sing, speak in a silly higher or lower pitch, or recite poetry, they regain their ability to speak.


  1. wow crazy stuff, makes you greatful

  2. Hah, I think I heard that Kung Fu move in some b flick. Was awesome

  3. i remember the cheerleader that turned like retarded but then when she ran she could speak normally

  4. So some people live their life like a musical? Awesome

  5. I might have some terminal brain illness you spoke of in this post... If not.. LOL.
    Interesting post.

  6. Spasmodic dysphonia sounds pretty cool.

  7. Fainting every time you swallow? God your mum must be... ok we all know where I was going with that joke, so lets just stop.

    Great post man, very interesting

  8. I have heard of the one about singing to get over their problems. It is really cool how that works out that way. Good post man : )