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Rare condition causes retired teacher to hallucinate

university of kentucky scary faces drug interactions macular degeneration

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#1 Hum

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:01

When the 67-year-old woman came to the hospital, she was deeply afraid of two things — the visions of odd-looking faces that appeared hovering before her, and that the hallucinations might mean she was losing her mind.

But this retired teacher wasn't going crazy, and laboratory tests also ruled out two common culprits of hallucinations — infection and drug interactions.

"She was absolutely terrified by what she was seeing," said Dr. Bharat Kumar, an internal medicine resident at the University of Kentucky who treated the woman. In fact, the patient and her family were so concerned in the days before she came to the hospital, they asked a priest about performing an exorcism, Kumar said.

The woman drew a picture of what she saw. The faces had large teeth, eyes and ears, and a horizontally elongated shape, like a football.

That peculiar shape and the fact that the patient recognized that she was hallucinating (rather than believing the visions to be real) provided two important clues in making a diagnosis, Kumar said. He determined that the woman had condition called Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Patients with the syndrome may see small people and animals, bright moving shapes or distorted faces. These hallucinations are purely visual; no sounds accompany them.

In the woman's case, the condition developed because she had macular degeneration. Tissue within the retinas of her eyes was deteriorating, and her ability to see was declining.

There is no treatment for the condition, but in many cases the hallucinations stop happening as the brain becomes used to vision loss.

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#2 compl3x

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:30

In fact, the patient and her family were so concerned in the days before she came to the hospital, they asked a priest about performing an exorcism, Kumar said.



So instead of going to the hospital immediately, they waited, and then went to the trouble of contacting a priest in the mean time about voodoo instead of going to the hospital? :s

#3 Torolol

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:41

In the woman's case, the condition developed because she had macular degeneration. Tissue within the retinas of her eyes was deteriorating, and her ability to see was declining.

so, she need eyes replacement?

#4 myxomatosis

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:33

So instead of going to the hospital immediately, they waited, and then went to the trouble of contacting a priest in the mean time about voodoo instead of going to the hospital? :s


What is worst to me is that she called and exorcist instead of going to the hospital, and she was a teacher… What kind of religious bull**** did she taught to kids?

#5 OP Hum

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 17:14

Maybe she is just seeing more of what has always been there. ;)

#6 compl3x

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 19:22

Maybe she is just seeing more of what has always been there. ;)


Huh?

There are demons/ghosts/ghouls around us all the time but we just can't see them?

I love you, Hum. You are by far the most interesting Neowinian.

#7 Luc2k

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 19:26

Huh?

There are demons/ghosts/ghouls around us all the time but we just can't see them?

I love you, Hum. You are by far the most interesting Neowinian.


You need to squint.

#8 Detection

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 19:39

Back in my younger days of taking a lot of this and that, I would sometimes see shapes of ghostly looking figures swooping around outside of the window of the upstairs flat, and what made it worse was although I knew it was drug induced, I also started thinking, what if drugs are illegal because they open us up to what is really there but unnoticeable when sober minded

Screwed with my head, but only when I was high :p

#9 compl3x

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 19:48

You need to squint.


I drink and get blurry-eyed. Will that do?

#10 Growled

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 00:36

It's nice we live in a more enlightened time. In times past she would have been declared crazy and hauled away.