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Top 10 Bizarre Diseases With No Cure

Updated on March 9, 2016
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10) Benjamin Button Syndrome

Progeria is an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes those with the disease to age ten times faster than normal. Although those with progeria have above average intelligence, the syndrome affects their physical bodies, causing them to look older than their years. Symptoms include stunted growth, hair loss, pinched facial features, and fragile bodies. The disease is caused by a mutation during embryonic development, which has led scientists studying it to gain a better understanding of the aging process. People with progeria have a life expectancy of 13 years, and it is thought to affect approximately 1 in 8 million births.

9) Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) is an incurable disease, which causes its female sufferers to experience painful, consistent sexual arousal. Those that suffer from the illness feel that they are on the verge of an orgasm they can’t complete - for days or weeks at a time. Other sufferers experience uncontrollable multiple orgasms. One sufferer, Cara Anaya, reported that her illness could make her experience up to 180 orgasms in just two hours. The symptoms can be triggered by anything from a bumpy bus ride to the vibration of a cell phone.

8) Werewolf Syndrome

Hypertrichosis, also known as Werewolf Syndrome, is an extremelyrare genetic condition, which causes an abnormal amount of hair to grow across the face and body. The genetic disease is so rare that since the Middle Ages only 50 individuals with the disease have been recorded. However, despite few cases to study, researchers have been able to identify that the excessive hairiness is due to a mutation to a section of the X chromosome. In the 19th and 20th century sufferers of Hypertrichosis often worked as sideshow freaks, such as Mexican dancer Julia Pastrana. She was exhibited at circuses around the world as a human-ape hybrid and was later stuffed and displayed as a specimen after death. Advances in hair removal techniques means families with Hypertrichosis can achieve temporary relief from their hairy symptoms.

7) Fish Odor Syndrome

This fishy syndrome is a rare metabolic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down the compound trimethylamine. Trimethylamine is found in foods such as red meat and eggs, and those who ingest it can suffer from a build up of the chemical, which is released as a stench of rotten fish through their sweat, urine, and breath. The incurable condition is thought to be more common in women than men. Scientists attribute this to female sex hormones such as estrogen, which are though to heighten the symptoms.

6) Vampire Syndrome

HED is a rare genetic disorder that can leave those that inherit it resembling a vampire. The disorder causes an absence of sweat glands and thin skin that lacks pigmentation. This means that sufferers have to avoid direct sunlight to prevent heat blisters or overheating, which can occur within minutes of exposure. The disorder also affects the growth of hair and teeth, leaving those with the disease to appear as if they have fangs, while other affected individuals lack teeth altogether.

5) Water Allergy

Aquagenic urticaria is a disease that leaves people experiencing agonizing hives if they come into contact with water - including their own sweat or tears. Despite human bodies being made up of 70% water, some sufferers of aquagenic urticaria can’t even drink the stuff, as the contact with water causes their throat to close up. Showers have to be limited to a few minutes a week, otherwise sufferers run the risk of being sent into severe anaphylactic shock. Scientists don’t know what causes the disease and are yet to develop a cure, as it is so rare that it only affects 1 in 230 million people. That’s approximately 40 people worldwide.

4) Hailey-Hailey Disease

Hailey-Hailey disease is an inherited skin condition that causes red, itchy scales and blisters to appear when the skin is irritated. The disease can flare up due to the slightest friction. Everyday activities such as walking can lead to severe pain in the groin, genital area, or in the crease of the buttocks. Extreme instances can result in infection, discharge, and a rotting smell. The symptoms of Hailey-Hailey disease are caused by weakened cells on the surface layer of the skin. Although there is no cure, antibiotic creams and antiseptic soap can help manage the symptoms.

3) Tree Man

The Tree Man illness is named after the tree-like warts that grow on sufferers of the disease. One sufferer, Dede Koswara, caught the disease after cutting his knee in an accident. The warts are caused by the common infection HPV, but Koswara’s genetically low immune system meant that the virus hijacked the cellular machinery of his skin cells, resulting in the uncontrollable growths. Despite undergoing treatment, which removed 95% of the tree-like growths, they grew back just a few months later, covering his hands and feet and leaving him unable to carry out basic tasks.

2) Sellars' Syndrome

British woman Mandy Sellars made headlines while attempting to raise awareness for her unique disease, which has left her with abnormally over-sized legs. Caused by a faulty gene, the syndrome has caused her legs to grow uncontrollably. They now weigh more than 107 kg, despite the top half of her body growing at a normal rate. Her overgrown limbs have caused Sellars further health complications, including a spinal stroke and blood infection. This led to her left leg being amputated, but even despite the amputation the stump continued to grow at an accelerated rate. After genetic testing it was revealed that Sellars' case is the first of its kind, a 1 in 7 billion disease.

1) Stone Man Syndrome

FOP disease, also known as Stone Man Syndrome, is a genetic disorder that turns soft tissue into bone, transforming sufferers into a living statue. The disease is caused by mutations to the gene ACVR1, which is responsible for turning cartilage into bone as children develop. For those with FOP the gene is pushed into overdrive, fusing their bones together, resulting in frozen limbs and a locked the jaw. This makes eating and breathing independently nearly impossible. There is currently no cure for the disease and attempts to surgically remove the excess bone results in an explosion in bone growth. This lethal genetic disorder is one of the world’s rarest known diseases, affecting just 1 in 2 million people.

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