Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Five Crazy Ways Your Brain Can Malfunction:

If you're not feeling on top of your game, just be thankful you don't have one of these crazy disorders. Here's a list from Cracked of five weird ways your brain can malfunction.

#1.) Fregoli Syndrome. People with severe cases think everyone they meet is the same person. And as you'd imagine, they're also usually paranoid, because they constantly think someone's stalking them or playing a trick. Fregoli syndrome also pairs up with other disorders: For example, one woman who suffered from it also suffered from something called erotomania (er-ah-tah-MAY-nia) the belief that someone's in love with you when they aren't. She thought Erik Estrada from "CHiPs" was madly in love with her and communicated with her telepathically. And she thought EVERYONE was Erik Estrada.

#2.) Visual Agnosia. It's when the image-processing part of your brain shorts out, and you can't identify things for what they are anymore. So, you look at an orange and think it's an elephant. In one case, a man with visual agnosia sat down for an interview with a neurologist. And at the end of the interview, he thought his wife's head was his HAT and tried to put it on. The neurologist ended up writing a book about him called "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat".

#3.) Mirrored-Self Misidentification. It's when there's a breakdown in the part of your brain that understands how reflections work. So when you look in the mirror, you think you're looking at a stranger in a window. It's extremely rare, but it's most common in Alzheimer's patients.

#4.) Anosognosia. (Ano-sog-NO-zee-uh) It's when someone who's paralyzed genuinely believes they're NOT. And they make up excuses for why they can't move. It sounds crazy, but it's actually common in stroke patients. According to several studies, over half of people with stroke-induced paralysis on one side of their body suffer from at least a mild form of it while they're recovering. And it's not because they're just stubborn and won't admit they're disabled. It's because the area of the brain that controls body perception is damaged.

#5.) Somatoparaphrenia. (So-muh-tuh-pahr-uh-FREE-nee-uh) It's when there's damage to the part of your brain that knows the map of your body. So you think that one of your limbs . . . like an arm or a foot . . . is someone else's. In one case, a man denied ownership of an arm AND a foot. He didn't know whose foot it was, but for some reason he thought the arm belonged to a woman he knew named Maria. Some people who suffer from it even try to have their limbs REMOVED.

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