Throughout the year, Medical Daily has titillated our readers with stories of a confounding nature — the medical cases doctors could not explain. These were the scientific tales that drew gasps of fear from our writers and cries of surprise from our readers. We offer you our “Top 10 List” of the most astounding examples of when science failed to explain what exactly had gone wrong. To see the original story, simply click on the titles below:
It was common sense for doctors to perform a CAT scan on the 24-year-old woman who was admitted to a hospital in the Shandong Province of China after complaining of dizziness and nausea. After all, she reported she was unable to stand on her own until age 4 and unable to speak intelligibly until age 6. In fact, throughout her life, she told her doctors she’d suffered balance problems. Despite these slight health issues, the woman was married, with a daughter, and had functioned normally for years. Imagine the surprise — utter shock, really — when her doctors looked at the scan and identified her problem: her entire cerebellum was missing.
Imagine waking in the night hearing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Sounds pleasant enough, but what if this song plays through your mind non-stop, disturbing your every waking hour and every nightly dream? Due to a mysterious musical hallucination, Susan Root of Essex, England, endured for FOUR YEARS Patti Page’s rendition of the tune, How Much is that Doggie in the Window, though now she hears Judy Garland’s Somewhere over the Rainbow. Her husband of 40 years has to shout to get her attention because she sometimes can’t hear anything except for the song in her head.
What causes the debilitating condition known as a migraine headache, when flashes appear before the eyes and the headaches with a repeated pounding sensation? Sadly, no one knows. “What researchers do know is that migraines are a genetic disease, in that they run in families,” Medical Daily reported. “If one parent has a history of migraines, there is approximately a 40 percent chance their child will experience them as well.” When both parents suffer, the possibility of their child dealing with these headaches jumps to over 90 percent. However, some unknown other element is at play and so, whether a person suffers from cluster, aura, or regular variety, migraines remain unaccountably strange.
“Exactly one year ago, Landon Jones woke up without an appetite or thirst, and now at 12 years old, his parents must force food and drink on him every day to keep him alive,” Medical Daily reported. Since that Oct. 14 morning in 2013, Jones has lost 40 pounds. Though his sense of smell and taste remain intact, these sensations do not inspire in him any desire to eat or drink. Meanwhile, his doctors continue to search for a cause to this first case of a mysterious loss of hunger, while his unfortunate parents do their best to support and help their ailing child.
A 40-year old Florida mother who underwent a routine cesarean section temporarily lost her pulse. Hardly surprising, until one more detail is mentioned: the woman had not pulse for 45 full minutes. “Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro, 40, had a normal C-section late in September. But in the recovery room, doctors began to notice she wasn’t breathing,” Medical Daily reported. During the crisis, her doctors found no mystery in what had happened to Graupera-Cassimiro: fluid from her amniotic sac had entered her bloodstream, creating a vacuum in her heart, which stopped her lung function and blood circulation. The mystery lies in just one singular fact: After reviving her, her doctors discovered the lack of blood flow to her brain left no neurological damage. A miracle?
Since May in El Carmen, Colombia, over 200 tween and teen girls entered the nearest hospital suffering from nausea, abdominal pain, and a numbness in hands. What could have caused this strange synchronicity of illness on such a wide scale? While many attribute the girls’ unusual illness to mass hysteria, Medical Daily reported, “coincidentally, the Colombian village was introduced to a vaccine that helps to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV).” Is this a case of harmful side effects from a single vaccination or one of an unusual psychological epidemic?
Zoe Fennessy, 26, suffers an epileptic seizure that causes severe nausea and stops her in her tracks… but only when she hears a song by Ne-Yo, a Grammy-nominated artist. In fact, this British mom must wear earphones whenever she shops or walks around in public as a way to prevent hearing the pop star’s voice and suffering its effects. “Fennessy suffered her first seizure back on New Year’s Day in 2006 following intermittent bouts of sickness, fatigue, and stress. … After hearing Ne-Yo’s collaboration with Pitbull on ‘Give Me Everything,’ Fennessy suffered her first music-induced seizure,” Medical Daily reported. Though Ne-Yo has caused her great pain, she claims she doesn’t dislike the pop star or his music.
Again we present not a single mystery, but a number of related and long-standing mysteries instead. Earlier this year, English researchers confirmed that male babies are more likely to be stillborn than females — significantly so. While scientists believe this gender disparity results from some biological source, they have not yet identified an exact or even a plausible cause. Usually cases are accounted for in vague, uncertain terms, while one quarter of the total are said to arise from unknown origin. Sadly, one aspect of this unsolved puzzle is clear: 100,000 male babies die in this manner every year.
“After surviving traumatic injuries due to a motorcycle crash in Italy, an X-ray and CT scan revealed that a 48-year-old man’s heart had rotated 90 degrees to the right within his body,” Medical Daily reported. What's unique about the case is that while the heart rotated, the man remained awake and alert. Doctors say the accident itself did not cause this strange rotation, it most likely occurred within the hour following the crash when a punctured lung caused air to be released into the space around his chest. Draining the air 24 hours later, his doctors were able to turn the man’s heart back to its original position. Astoundingly, his heart was uninjured by this extreme event.
Of all the cases described here, this is the one that might prompt you to say, I wish! In 2012, after waking up from a week-long coma resulting from a car crash, Ben McMahon of Melbourne, Australia, appeared to have lost some of his English-speaking abilities. However, upon seeing a Chinese nurse, he began speaking fluent Mandarin. While McMahon had taken classes in high school and spent time in Shanghai, he was nowhere near fluency in the Mandarin language. No one knows for sure how this language inversion came about, but McMahon’s doctors believe the accident damaged the brain circuitry associated with speaking English, while engaging the network linked to speaking Mandarin.