Frightening yet funny diseases

While researching scary-sounding diseases this past week for the post I did about swine flu, I discovered there’s a lot of weird stuff out there. Now I know where the writers of “House” get their ideas. There are literally thousands of exotic ailments running rampant through the population, any one of which could send the nation into a panic if ever mentioned on Fox News.

I thought that today I’d publish just a small sampling of these that I found on Wikipedia. Many of them lacked any information more than a name, which in most cases made them even more frightening than seeing details of the symptoms. Note also the large quantity of “syndromes” and their alien names. Aren’t there any diseases discovered by the research team of Jones, Smith and Brown?

For some of these diseases, I’m listing real information. For others, no details were available, so I’m making them up based on how the name reads. For others, I’m just listing the exotic name. Hope you enjoy and, more importantly, hope you don’t catch any.

Abdallat Davis Farrage syndrome is comprised of disordered skin and hair pigmentation, and progressive spastic paraparesis (a condition in which both legs and the bladder have little voluntary control).

ABCD syndrome is the acronym for albinism, black lock, cell migration disorder of the neurocytes of the gut and sensorineural deafness. 

Absence of tibia with polydactyly. This was not formally defined but as near as I can tell, it involves no leg bone but extra toes.

Acral renal mandibular syndrome. Again, no formal definition was available. I do know that “renal” has to do with the kidneys and “mandible” has to do with the jaw, yet I’m totally lost on how these might be connected.

Acrofacial dysostosis ambiguous genitalia. Possibly related to the above condition, this sounds like a malformation of the facial bones somehow connected to indistinct genitals.

Acrokeratoelastoidosis of Costa is a condition characterized by multiple keratotic papules (inflamed, elevated horny warts) on the hands and feet.

Acropigmentation of Dohi sounds to me like a problem with the color of the sky above the capital of Qatar. 

Adolescent benign focal crisis simply sounds like the inability of teenagers to concentrate. 

Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome is also known as Cree encephalitis and pseudo-TORCH syndrome, both of which were once considered separate disorders.

Alar nasal cartilages coloboma of telecanthus is something to do with dysfunctional eyelids.

Alien hand syndrome (anarchic hand or Dr. Strangelove syndrome) is an unusual neurological disorder in which one of the sufferer’s hands seems to take on a mind of its own. AHS is best documented in cases where a person has had the two hemispheres of their brain surgically separated. It also occurs in some cases after other brain surgery, strokes, or infections.

Aluminum lung is, fortunately, not a naturally occurring condition but rather an injury caused by inhaling dust in an aluminum mine.

Anterior horn disease is a complete mystery to me. I didn’t think humans had any horns at all, much less anterior ones.

Arachnodactyly (“spider fingers”) or achromachi, is a condition in which the fingers are abnormally long and slender in comparison to the palm of the hand.

Arnold Stickler Bourne syndrome sounds like some researcher is making fun of the nerdy kid from his elementary school.

Ausems Wittebol Post Hennekam syndrome.

Aarskog Ose Pande syndrome.

Achalasia-Addisonianism-Alacrima syndrome.

Baraitser Brett Piesowicz syndrome.

Bazex-Dupre-Christol syndrome.

Bazopoulou Kyrkanidou syndrome.

Bellini Chiumello Renoldi syndrome.

Ben Ari Shuper Mimouni syndrome.

Baker Vinters syndrome must be someone who is confused about whether they want to be a breadmaker or a winemaker.

Babesiosis is a malaria-like parasitic disease caused by Babesia, a genus of protozoal piroplasms.  Babesia are thought to be the second most common blood parasites of mammals and they can have a major impact on health of domestic animals in areas without severe winters. Human babesiosis is uncommon, but reported cases have risen recently because of expanded medical awareness.

Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome (BRRS) is a rare disorder with occurrence of multiple subcutaneous lipomas. The disease belongs to a family of hamartomatous polyposis syndromes, which also includes Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, juvenile polyposis and Cowden syndrome. I have no idea what any of that means.

Basedow’s coma sounds like the kind of coma you’d want if you had to have a coma.

Dandy-Walker syndrome (DWS), or Dandy-Walker complex, is a brain malformation involving the cerebellum and the fluid-filled spaces around it, and apparently has little to do with walking funny.

De Hauwere Leroy Adriaenssens syndrome.

Davis Lafer syndrome is hopefully something I cause when people read my blog.

Der kaloustian Jarudi Khoury syndrome.

Dincsoy Salih Patel syndrome.

Dermatocardioskeletal syndrome (Boronne type) is apparently a defect of the skin, heart and skeleton or, basically, pretty much your entire body.

Diaphragmatic defect limb deficiency skull defect is another case of a disease picking random body parts to afflict.

Dissociative fugue (previously called psychogenic fugue) is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of individuality. The state is usually short-lived, but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. After recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, however there is complete amnesia for the fugue episode. Importantly, an episode is not characterized as a fugue if it can be related to the ingestion of psychotropic substances, to trauma, to a general medical condition, or to psychiatric conditions such as delerium or dementia, bipolar disorder or depression. I thought a fugue was something that Bach composed, but I am apparently mistaken.

Double fingernail of fifth finger must be one of those fake entries that people sometimes put into Wikipedia for a joke.

Dysmorphophobia (also known as “Dysmorphic syndrome”) is a psychiatric disorder in which the affected person is excessively concerned about and preoccupied by an imagined or minor defect in their physical features.

Hailey-Hailey disease, or familial benign chronic pemphigus, was originally described by the Hailey brothers in 1939 and is a disorder that causes blisters to form on the skin. It apparently has nothing to do with comets.


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6 Responses to “Frightening yet funny diseases”

  1. tom1950 Says:

    Anterior Horn Disease probably has to do with a malfunction of the little beeper that pops out of your butt when you get ready to back up.

    It could also be possible that the Hailey-Hailey disease is associated with movies of the 60’s featuring Hailey Mills in a dual role.

    Ausems Wittebol Post Hennekam is obviously a law firm that was formed after Hennekam joined Ausems and Wittebol.


  2. Michael Says:

    Didn’t Jesus encourage Alien Hand syndrome when He said something about the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing… or was that my mom that said that…

  3. Brookers Says:

    Achalasia is a swallowing disorder corrected with surgery and Addisons is an adrenal cortex disease which put ME in the hospital. Otherwise this list and the descriptions were hilarious! And Tom’s remarks made me spit my coffee everywhere.

  4. Blake Kennedy Says:

    I totally agree, nice article broski.
    I have ass-burgers, its funny as well

  5. Kelly Says:

    That part about alien hand syndrome, combined with our imagination, made me and my brother laugh for at least three minutes straight. We almost died.

    lol Thanks

  6. Amber Says:

    Omg , I messed with my sister i used Hailey – Hailey Disease with the definition of Dysmorphophobia and she believed me *& then we used funny cures(: shes 9:))

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