Special Report

27 Rare and Mysterious Medical Conditions

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1. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Todd’s Syndrome)

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, also known as Todd’s Syndrome, is a condition that affects vision, touch, and hearing, causing temporary episodes of distorted perception. Patients may feel larger or smaller than they actually are. They may also feel that objects around them, such as furniture, are moving away or closer to them. The condition affects mostly children and young adults, who often outgrow it. Though it may affect between 10% and 20% of the world’s population, episodes of disorientation occur infrequently.

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2. Alien Hand Syndrome

Alien Hand Syndrome is a very rare condition in which a person has no control over one of his or her hands. The hand in question can still move but the movements are involuntary and are often unnecessary or inappropriate, such as slapping. The condition can last from several days to several years and there is no cure.

3. Alkaptonuria (Black Urine Disease)

Alkaptonuria is a very rare inherited disorder. It prevents the body from breaking down certain amino acids, resulting in a buildup of a chemical called homogentisic acid in the skin and other body tissues. People with the condition may have dark urine which turns black when left when exposed to air. There is no treatment for Alkaptonuria but symptoms can be managed with a low-protein diet and with medication to relieve the joint pain that often accompanies the affliction.

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4. Aquagenic Urticaria (Water Allergy)

Water Allergy is an extremely rare condition, first recorded in 1964. Since then there have been about 50 cases observed around the world. The condition, for which a cause is not yet known, causes the skin to develop hives after coming in contact with water of any temperature.

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5. Auto-Brewery Syndrome (Gut Fermentation Syndrome)

Gut Fermentation Syndrome or Auto-Brewery Syndrome is known to most people as the drunkenness disease because, somehow, the body makes ethanol (grain alcohol) in the gastrointestinal system from carbs, resulting in people getting drunk without actually drinking alcohol. Only a few cases have been documented in several decades.

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