If you’ve ever gone to the doctor with an issue that left them stumped, even just for a little while, the hours, days, weeks, sometimes months before getting an answer can drag on and leave you feeling helpless. But with any luck one day you’ll get a phone call after just the right visit or just the right test and you’ve got your answer and (hopefully) you’re on the road to recovery. However, we aren’t here today to talk about everything doctors do know (that would take forever), we’re here to talk about three medical mysteries that are still unsolved. Let’s get into it!
The Girl Who Never Aged
In 2013 a woman passed away at the young age of just 20, but what remains a mystery is how she looked when she died because she didn’t look like your average 20-year-old, in fact, she looked to be about five years old. While she was born premature, doctors couldn’t figure out why her body simply stopped maturing. Her DNA didn’t show any signs of abnormalities, her parents didn’t have a history of abnormal development, and even her own sisters developed normally. Her condition became known as Syndrome X among scientists, but her condition remains unexplained.
The Ones Who Never Forget
Those that have highly superior autobiographical memory are as close as you can get to having a photographic memory. These folks can recall just about anything in their life with meticulous detail. (So definitely someone you wouldn’t want to get into an argument with.) The mystery lies in the neural mechanisms. Studies can tell us that HSAM is “associated with increased expression of neural pathways that support memory encoding, retrieval, and elaboration, but also with reduced expression of patterns typically involved in information control and metacognition.” But what the study couldn’t tell us? How or why certain people have this and others don’t.
That Creepy Crawly Feeling
This one would probably drive us mad and it’s known as Morgellan’s disease. This is a skin condition and those diagnosed with it feel as though something is stinging or crawling all over their skin. This is very uncommon and is characterized by tiny skin fibers emerging from sores that doctors just still don’t understand today. In fact, doctors are torn when it comes to treating this as some treat it like a condition that is just in the patient’s head, so behavior therapy, antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, or counseling are prescribed; while other doctors think the condition is caused by an infection from a bacteria found to cause tumors in plants.