Health

Top 10 Mysterious Diseases

2. Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. As the disease progresses, patients may also experience changes in personality such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, new treatments may be on the horizon as researchers gain more insight into the biology of the disease.

3. The Common Cold. With more than one billion cases in North America every year, the causes of 30 to 50 percent of adult colds— presumed to be viral— remain unidentified. There is currently no cure for the common cold, but symptoms are usually treated with simple remedies such as bed rest, chicken soup and drinking plenty of fluids.

4. Avian Flu. Health officials fear this powerful bird flu virus could mutate into a strain that can be transmitted between humans. With no immunity to the virus, humans infected with Avian Flu suffer a 50 per cent death rate. So far humans appear to have been infected by direct handling of infected birds. However, a recent cluster of cases may have involved a spread of the virus between people.

5. Pica. People diagnosed with this peculiar disorder have an insatiable urge to eat non-food substances like dirt, paper, glue and clay. While health experts believe Pica may be linked with mineral deficiency, the exact cause – and cure – have yet to be found.

6. Autoimmune Disorders. Autoimmune disorders include a host of afflictions such as Lupus and MS. In these conditions, the body’s organs and normal functions are treated as enemy invaders. Doctors can do little except to ease symptoms for people with the debilitating disorder.

7. Schizophrenia. Considered one of the most puzzling of mental disorders, schizophrenia robs an individual of the ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Symptoms range from delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, lack of motivation or emotions, but the disease still has no defining medical tests.

8. Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD). Mad Cow, which can be contracted by eating contaminated beef, is a better known version of this rare brain disorder. While it is always fatal and quick-acting, doctors have not been able to understand why the disorder develops or how it can be prevented.

9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Chronic Fatigue is a classical MUPS (medically unexplained physical symptoms) disease. A diagnosis is typically based only on the ruling out of other possibilities. CFS patients complain of debilitating exhaustion and are often bed-ridden for days at a time.

10. Morgellons Disease. Sufferers of this mysterious illness complain of intensely “creepy-crawly” skin and odd fibrous strands which protrude from open wounds. The skin lesions contain tiny threads or fuzz balls that are black, red or blue. People who think they have Morgellons often experience disabling fatigue, mental decline described as “brain fog,” mood disorders and joint pain. While some health experts attribute the “disease” on a shared psychotic delusion, others believe the symptoms to be real.

Written by : Cynthia Ross Cravit; LiveScience

 

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