alien hand syndrome
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
We’ve heard a lot about psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but there are also some very rare disorders. Learn about 5 rare mental disorder syndromes.
This syndrome is a rare delusional disorder in which people believe that other people are actually the same person, only changing their appearance. People with this disorder often feel that they are being persecuted by people in disguise. It is named after Leopoldo Fregoli, an Italian theater actor known for his amazing ability to change his appearance quickly on stage.
Fregoli syndrome usually occurs with other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Since it was first recorded in 2018, fewer than 50 cases have been reported worldwide. A recent 2020 study reported a 1.1% incidence among post-stroke patients, so it could be seen as more than 50 cases, but still very rare. There is no known cure, but treatment with antipsychotic medications may relieve symptoms.
Called Walking Corpse Syndrome, it is when the patient has delusional beliefs that they are dead or do not exist. They believe they are decaying or have lost blood or vital internal organs.
First described in 1882, the syndrome is named after the 19th-century French neurologist Jules Cotard. Schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder are risk factors for Cotard syndrome, but have also been reported as rare side effects of the antiviral drug aciclovir. This syndrome is thought to result from a disconnection between the areas of the brain that recognize faces and the areas that associate those face recognition with emotional content.
It is usually treated with antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and electroconvulsive therapy.
Alien hand syndrome
One of the strangest and rarest neurological disorders, Alien Hand Syndrome is a condition in which a person’s hand appears to have a mind of its own and behaves autonomously, making it feel as though it does not belong to itself.
First identified in 1908, it was not clearly defined until the early 1970s. The term “alien hand syndrome” was coined by Joseph Bogen, an American neurophysiologist, to describe the strange and erratic behaviors sometimes seen while recovering from certain types of brain surgery.
They usually have sensory processing disorders and dissociate themselves from hand movements. Studies have shown that people with this syndrome often anthropomorphize alien hands and may believe that they are possessed by other spirits or extraterrestrial beings.
Causes of the syndrome include dementia, stroke, prion disease (a fatal brain disease), tumors, and seizures. Cases of alien hand syndrome have also been reported among patients who underwent surgery to separate the left and right hemispheres to treat severe epilepsy. It’s so rare that a 2013 medical journal found only 150 cases.
There is no cure, but symptoms can be minimized and managed to some degree by continuing to use the affected hand and engaging it in tasks (eg, by providing a gripping object). Other treatments include botulinum toxin injections and mirror box therapy. Stroke patients are known to have the highest treatment success rates.
Alice in Wonderland syndrome
Alice in Wonderland syndrome, also known as Todd syndrome, is a condition in which a person’s body image, sight, hearing, touch, and space-time are distorted. In general, we experience experiences that make objects appear smaller or larger than they actually are. This can be accompanied by paranoia.
Little is known about how common this disorder is. Sufferers are most commonly children and migraine sufferers.
In the popular SBS drama ‘Secret Garden’, which aired in 2010, there was a line saying that Joo-won (Hyun Bin) had this disease, and it became a hot topic.
“It is a mysterious and sad disease that makes you see fairy tales every day because of visual illusions like looking through a telescope upside down. It is clear that I have the syndrome. “
People with this condition can become frightened and panic, so successful treatment often includes rest and relaxation. In most cases, the experience is relatively short-lived, and the most recent review reported that nearly half of all patients were successfully treated.
Ekbom’s syndrome (reticular parasitic infection)
A tactile hallucination in which the patient believes they are infected with parasites, feeling as if insects are crawling under the skin. It is named after Karl Ekbom, a Swedish neurologist who first described the condition in the late 1930s.
The exact number of people suffering from this syndrome is not known, but one study reported about 20 new cases each year in a large US clinic. This syndrome is more common in women (2/3 women and 1/3 men) and more common in people over 40 years of age. Symptoms usually last for 3 to 4 years.
It has been associated with several conditions including paranoid schizophrenia, organic brain disorders, neurosis and paranoid personality disorder, and has been reported in some people suffering from alcohol withdrawal, cocaine misuse, stroke, dementia, and some lesions of the brain called the thalamus. .
Reporter Kim Min-cheol of Chemical News
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