Although the medical industry is constantly evolving and advancing, we still do not have answers to a surprising amount of problems. For example, there is still no cure for the common cold, we do not know what causes cancer and do not even know how anesthesia works. But there are some interesting conditions like the fact that people who undergo organ transplants change personalities and the unknown reason why people who are freezing to death remove their clothing.
Here are 5 disorders illnesses and conditions that are still and will most likely remain unsolved.
We’ve all heard of hypothermia the nightmarish condition occurs when the average person’s body temperature has dropped below 35 degrees. It all starts with uncontrollable shivering followed by difficulty walking, poor coordination and the appearance of being drunk. As the breathing and heart rate slows to a dangerous rate the body stops shaking and eventually the person will fall unconscious and die if not seen to immediately.
The bizarre phenomenon of paradoxical undressing paradoxical undressing is when just before losing consciousness a sufferer of hypothermia will get the feeling of extreme warm prompting them to remove all their clothes. Sometimes folding them into a neat pile before passing away. But why would someone dying of cold want to remove the only thing keeping them warm? While the reason for this is not completely understood although is thought the dilation of blood vessels in the skin as a result of the cold and the deterioration of the brain can cause this sensation of extreme heat. Studies show around 30% of all people who passed away from hypothermia have had some or all their clothes removed. Now I don’t know about you but the thought of someone undressing from a feeling of warmth whilst their body temperature is continuing to drop as they freeze to death is very unnerving. The fact that we still do not 100% know for sure why this happens, and it makes a bizarre phenomenon of paradoxical undressing all the stranger.
Did Mysterious Blobs Rain Down Over Washington in 1994?
On the 7th of August 1994 rain began to fall over Oakville Washington. But this is no ordinary rain what was falling with his strange jelly-like substance. Over the next three weeks the area experienced this strange rain a total of six times. Local resident Dottie Hearn described the substance of a mushy rice sized blob with a gelatinous texture. Local patrolman David Lacey had to rub it off his car after the substance smeared over his windshield making it impossible to see. After it had stopped falling both David and Dottie along with other residents began to fall ill, they all suffered from various symptoms ranging from difficulty breathing, vertigo, blurred vision and nausea. Several cats and dogs who’d came in contact with the blog was said to have died. Dottie symptoms were so severe she was admitted to hospital and her daughter was convinced that there was a connection to her mother’s sudden illness and the blobs.
After examination it was revealed that the blobs contained human white blood cells and were teeming with two types of bacteria one of which lives in the human digestive system. This led to speculation it was human waste released from an airplane.
Although this was quickly dismissed as waste from planes must be dyed blue and is forbidden from being dumped mid-flight.
However, a doctor was not happy with these findings and over a year after the incident she sent some samples she had stored in a freezer to a microbiologist. He discovered a eukaryotic cell which are complex nucleus containing matter that are present in most living creatures. meaning whatever it was had to have been alive at some point in time. This led to the theory that the military bombing run 50 miles away accidentally blew up a school of jellyfish scattering them miles into the sky. Although this theory did not hold well since the rain that came down there had no smell and the distance it would have had to travel seems impossible.
The Air Force did however confirm that they were doing practice bombing runs over the Pacific in 1994 but deny they had anything to do with the blobs. Conspiracy theorists and locals are skeptical about this and believe the military were carrying out an experiment. Possibly a new biological weapon to see what effects it would have, because it’s strange the samples of the substance no longer exist and the mysterious illnesses after the Oakville blobs remains unsolved.
Gulf War Syndrome
Humans are not designed to go to war. At least not the type of wars that have been fought in the last hundred years and this goes to the onset of war related illnesses and mental health problems. Unexplained nerve pain, nausea, headaches, loss of balance, stomach problems and chronic fatigue. These are just a few of the 53 reported symptoms experienced by Gulf War veterans who are suffering from an illness that has never been properly explained or acknowledged. The illness became so widespread that the government set up disease registers but even after assessing over a hundred thousand soldiers they failed to find a single cause for the condition. Medical experts are stumped. They could see these very real symptoms and sufferings but could not determine why. One theory is a soldier returning from the Gulf War had unknowingly been exposed to depleted uranium in tank shells or fumes from burning oil wells.
Although it didn’t explain why soldiers who were not exposed to these were also suffering. Other possible explanations are anthrax vaccines, solvents, infectious diseases and chemical age resistant coatings. Although there was never any evidence of this, but how is this different from post-traumatic stress disorder. Well it’s the sheer extent that has manifested since the Gulf War and the complete lack of research or reasoning for why this war caused such a huge amount of post-war problems.
What was also added to this annual condition is the fact that it took until 2008 before a report was released by the U.S. Advisory Committee, stating that Gulf War Syndrome was a disorder tied to chemical exposure. Yet even with this evidence the government still declare there is no official syndrome. Astonishingly around 29% of the soldiers deployed in the Gulf are now considered disabled and many more are still plagued by a combination of unexplained illnesses that seem to have no origin apart from the fact they all started after the war.
The Dancing Plague
The dancing plague is a condition that you may have heard about before because the name alone draws you in. But what exactly is it while in 1374 hundreds of people living in the medieval towns scattered along the river Rhine in Central Europe was suddenly compelled to dance not for pleasure but due to an uncontrollable compulsion. Although the studies are scarce due to it happening so long ago and many reports seem to have been glorified. It was said that those who danced, literary did so until they died.
After this initial incident there was no other outbreaks of compulsive dancing until the summer of 1518, when a woman from France reportedly appeared to dance in the street seven days and was soon joined by over a hundred residents who were affected with the same uncontrollable urges. The authorities of the day left them and hoped they would stop dancing. However, they apparently started to drop dead mostly from heart attacks.
The dancing plague is always interesting to read about but due to it being exaggerated it’s hard to tell what is true and what isn’t. So what are the records at the time saying? Why it seemed that it was a real thing? That it did happen and the people of Strasbourg where in the 1518 case started were convinced the epidemic was caused by Saint Vitus who would unleash a dancing curse on them. However nowadays with more advanced medical science we can come up with some interesting theories. The most popular being that the people had unwittingly ingested or got a psychotropic mold that can be found on rice stalks a staple diet at the time.
Although this seems unlikely, as ergot although can give delusions would also cut off blood supply making it hard to move freely. Another theory is mass hysteria although dancing for days on end with very little food seems unlikely. The most plausible explanation seems to be out those affected were in a dissociative trance a condition that mainly had lost control their rational thinking. Nowadays this associative trance disorder is a recognized category of mental illness, described by psychiatrist as narrowing of one’s attention so that things like sight and movement are placed outside of reality. So, in effect dancing plague could have been a form of mental illness possibly brought on by the condition of the time or another unknown reason.
But it’s said that this unknown illness caused people to move in a manner that looked like they were dancing, took the lives of hundreds of people and it’s still a mystery as to why.
New Organ New Person
Although organ donation is controversial and divides opinions, there is no denying that many people’s lives have been saved from receiving another person’s organ to replace their failing one. But with the growing list of transplant patients it’s becoming apparent that some recipients are inheriting the trade of their donors and there are many examples of this.
Take Simon a 29-year-old who was born with cystic fibrosis and from a young age knew he would eventually need a new liver. That happened when he received a liver of an 18-year-old girl, the operation was a success, however upon awakening the once polite boy began swearing. Something he never did before the operation. Simon believes the reason he started swearing was because of the transplant that must have given him some of his transplant’s traits.
Then there is the story of Bill a 52-year-old Arizona businessman who suffered a life-threatening heart attack and received a new heart from Hollywood stuntman Brady Michaels. After recovering from the operation, Bill the once overweight and unhealthy man was drawn towards sports and getting fit and even became a medal winning swimmer, cyclist and runner. Traits he linked to his new heart.
However, it’s not always the good parts to the donor’s personality that manifest, and one story sticks out. Sunny from Georgia received a heart from a suicide victim and in the years after he received his new heart had shown no signs of happiness or depression but in April 2008, he was found dead in his garage with a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his throat. These were the identical circumstances in which his donor had killed himself 12 years earlier. Incredibly Sony’s Widow Cheryl was also previously married to his donor they had become friends and Sonny said he felt like he had known her for years.
These are just a few of the many bizarre changes of personality in people who have received organ transplants. Scientists who have studied this condition have called it Sal memory phenomenon and believe the change behaviors and emotions experienced by the recipients are due to the memory stored in the neurons of the organ donated. There is now enough evidence to suggest but that the six percent of new organ recipients will experience some change of personality and in an addition to this there was one patient who had a liver transplant and acquired the immune system and the blood type of the donor due to stem cells transferring over to her bone marrow.
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