Top 8 Weirdest Medical Abnormalities in History

Did you like when you were told about rare physical features? Well rejoice (but in moderation please because the last time went into a tailspin) because we are going to do it again with some rare medical abnormalities. The kind of stuff you only see in episodes of Dr. House, except there’s no lame doctor addicted to meds. But if you want you can imagine that I’m a lame doctor addicted to drugs. If it makes you happy, it makes me happy.

1. A Frenchman lives a normal life with 90% less brain

In July 2007, a man complained of leg pain and his doctor had him undergo an MRI. Result: the guy only had 10% brains. Blame it on hydrocephalus (a disease where the cranial box fills with liquid) which had not been controlled. However, the patient, who certainly had a rather low IQ of 75, lived normally, had a small family and worked in the administration. It is believed that his brain gradually disappeared due to the hydrocephalus and gradually adapted to its reduction. Look at the photos just below, the black parts are those filled with liquid. It’s completely wow.

2. Gloria Ramirez, the toxic woman

Be careful, we are not talking about a “toxic” woman in the sense that she prevents you from seeing your friends and makes fun of your extra pounds in public, but about a literally toxic woman. That woman was Gloria Ramirez, a Mexican who ended up in the hospital one evening in 1994. Gloria was suffering from symptoms of advanced cervical cancer. Her heart was racing and she was having difficulty breathing, which required prompt intervention by doctors. Only, nothing happened as planned. Already, the medical team noticed that Gloria had an oily sheen to her skin and a fruity, garlicky smell came from her mouth. On top of that, his blood smelled like ammonia and brown particles were floating in it. After this discovery, a nurse, an intern and a respiratory therapist became unwell. A little later, Gloria died of a kidney problem brought on by her cancer. It was only later that we realized what had happened. Warning, it’s technical:

Gloria had probably smeared herself with dimethyl sulfoxide (or DMSO), a solvent, as a pain remedy, which explained her oily appearance and garlicky smell. As the patient had kidney problems, the product would have accumulated in her and then transformed into dimethylsulfone (DMSO2). Finally, the electric shocks of defibrillation would have transformed the DMSO2 into dimethyl sulphate (DMSO4), which is extremely toxic. It is this molecule which would have intoxicated the 3 women. Really bad luck.

3. Chris Sands, who had hiccups for almost 3 years

A young Briton had the misfortune to have hiccups for more than 2 years almost without interruption, sometimes going so far as to hiccup every two seconds for 14 hours in a row in his worst moments of crisis (well, that’s a bad thing). The cause ? A brain tumor that we ended up detecting him thanks to a Japanese medical program where he was given an MRI. Good old Chris finally had the operation in 2009, and since the operation, everything is much better. A story that ends well, if we put aside the fact that this hiccup made him lose his job and his girlfriend. A story that ends moderately well, therefore.

4. Phineas Gage, who survived a metal bar going through his head

Normally, if we think of “metal rod that crosses the head”, we think of “not phew in good health”. Well for Phineas Gage, an American who worked on the railroads in the 19th century, the story was different. Following his accident at work, he did not die. He was even able to joke with the doctor when he had just taken the big piece of metal in the skull (and in one eye, by the way) by saying to him: “I think you will have a job”. But there were still two consequences: already, he was missing one eye, because one eye doesn’t grow back, and, above all, he had changed. Psychologically. His frontal lobe had been affected, so he had gone from a cheerful and serious personality to a dark, vulgar and lack of empathy personality. Everything else was working fine, but the guy had changed. You changed Phineas, you changed.

5. Howard Engel, the guy who couldn’t read when he woke up

Howard Engel, a Canadian author, woke up one fine morning (well, “beautiful”, it’s up to you to judge) without knowing how to read. He suffered from visual aphasia, a condition that prevents him from deciphering sequences of letters (this is called “reading”). But he still knew how to write, and he continued to write novels. Yes it’s crazy, the ability to write and that of reading are not as linked as we think. Nevertheless, it must be quite relou on a daily basis. Especially when you have to read. Which often happens.

6. Tooth Explosions

In the 19th century, several cases of tooth explosions were reported, notably in Pennsylvania where a dentist had encountered 3 similar cases during his career. His patients had told him that they had heard a loud noise in their mouths caused by an explosion of their own tooth. There were other cases of the same kind all over the country, then nothing from the 20th century. There, you wonder what could have happened, and you have good reason to be curious, so here is the most probable answer: we suspect the fillings of the time composed of an alloy of lead, silver and of tin. The three metals combined created an electrochemical cell in the tooth that could explode when the person lit a small cigarette. We have since (fortunately) stopped asking this kind of fillings to avoid ending up with a degummed jaw. That’s progress.

7. Jamie “Canhead” Keeton, the man with octopus skin

Jamie Keeton, an American from Illinois, has a cool peculiarity: his skin can attract objects like the suction cups of an octopus. For example, he can put a can on his skull, and the can will be glued to his skin (which earned him the nickname “Canhead”, or “head of a can” in French). Canhead said it started when he was 7: his toys stuck to his skin, but he didn’t worry too much about it. As an adult, he still ended up going to the doctor to figure out what was happening to him, and the docs concluded that he must have skin that sucked more oxygen than average, but no one found any. the exact reason*. Still, the guy has a superpower, and that’s classy.

*If you want my theory: it’s just a genetic mutation as it happens all the time in animal evolution. Worth what it’s worth, but I’m sure Darwin would agree with me.

8. People have inherited allergies from a blood transfusion

This happens very rarely, but there have been a few reported cases of patients who developed new allergies right after being transfused with blood from a donor who had these allergies. This is the case of a Canadian kid who became allergic to peanuts and salmon after a transfusion in 2015, and of a woman who had the same mishap in 2007. She had developed the same allergy to peanuts as her donor. of plasma of 19 years. In my house, we call it a poisoned gift.

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