Weird Diseases

An obscure web site caught my eye, BrilliantBias, which has made it its mission to identify the Seven Weirdest diseases in the USA. Not deadliest, Not dangerous. Not mysterious, miserable or nastiest. No.. Weirdest. That’s right, weirdest, which begs the question, exactly what is a weird disease? I could not wait to find out, though there was nothing to find out. No definition offered. Only idiocy.
No one likes getting the cold, but after reading this post you’ll be happy if that’s the worst you endure. Here are some of the top “weirdest” diseases in the USA. Number One, the app aren’t winner, is Mad Cow Disease. Okay. I guess weird can apply just this once.
I almost dropped my teeth when I came to Number Four. Multiple Sclerosis. So now we are the fourth weirdest people we know. How weird. . Multiple Sclerosis- Basically your immune system is attacking itself and therefore your brain deteriorates causing several neurological symptoms. So that is what happened to my brain.
Twitching. Twitching?, spasms, muscle weakness, and tremors, are all typical signs of MS. It can happen to anyone of any age mostly seen in women between the ages of 20-50. Symptoms can come on suddenly and the patient can go into symptom remission where they won’t have symptoms for a while. There are currently no tests to show MS, diagnosis only by a doctor and symptoms. Sometimes they can see brain deterioration on an MRI.
I invite you all to have at this Number Seven is the Bubonic Plague.

31 Responses to Weird Diseases

  1. Grandma August 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Weird topic. My granddaughter and I get this weird smell of smoke. We thought this was a symptom of ms but the today show said it was a pre seizure sign. Does anyone else get this?

    • AJ August 16, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      I get the cigarette smoke smell. I googled it and it said could be any brain issue. MS, tumor, seizure…Today Show had a few seconds per topic. They generalized. Sometimes it’s so bad, I have to sleep with a dryer sheet to my nose.

    • Jan August 16, 2014 at 10:05 am #

      A warning to any of you who are newly diagnosed (first thing I thought back to after investigating the referred-to post): please wield the Internet judiciously. At year nine, I can look back now and see how much time I had spent early on trying in to educate myself about MS. While the time was often not wasted, some of it was downright unproductive, scary even… and I would have been better off doing something fun.

      But how do you know when you’re in the middle of it all? (You likely won’t, at least not early on). So pick and choose wisely where you allow your eyeballs to land.

      Social media can be put forth by people merely searching topics, any topic for something to post, without much thought put into its possible effects (other than racking up “post hits”).

      I think that Richard’s blog is an excellent source of good, insightful information and also warnings (such as this “weird” post) of what one may find out there (and of the ignorance, misunderstandings). The sad thing is that those without issues can be rather insensitive to reality. Our reality.

      So, keep reading this blog. I will: it is now my only MS-related group/tech connection. Why? Because it is informative, often funny, and it can be both. It is worth my time in reading it. Thanks, Richard, for educating us and also being real.

      • AJ August 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

        I agree we have to be careful researching online. You have to weed through a lot of crazy. I take all of my questions to my current doctor. I pull from many resources. I found Journey Man through online research, so it can be for good. I agree this is one of the best and most honest site I have found. Wheelchair Kamikaze is also funny, informative and honest.

  2. David August 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Dear Richard-
    “Weird” is not a word I would associate with this disease we share. Maybe cruel, insidious or a number of adjectives that could frowned upon by many. Never weird, though…

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      I thought the whole thing wS WEIRD.


  3. Jack August 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    @ Grandma.
    For the past year or so, I have been getting the scent of cigarette smoke (not all the time, just occasionally) even though no one is smoking. I have gotten the scent in my home, where no one has ever smoked.

    I never thought to attribute this to my MS. It is weird.

    • Grandma August 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      The doctor on the Today Show said that the burning smell comes from nerves firing in the brain abnormally so I guess ms could be responsible. I get the cigarette smell my granddaughter gets an electrical burning smell

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:05 am #


      • Grandma August 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

        If I’m in the Twilight Zone all of you are in it with me. I want to be in the episode where all the old people in the home disappear and return to being children. MS has made me weird

  4. Yvonne August 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Wonder how MS got on the list. It’s like Fraggle Rocks “one of these things don’t belong” (obscure reference). MS just isn’t weird enough to make top 10. There is a disease that turns people into statues. Now that belongs on the list wayyyyy before MS.

  5. Hilary Debelak August 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    So…MS has not really hightened my respect for others’ intelligence. Since my dX, it seems people continue to lose common sense.

  6. Sandy August 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    So ya gotta wonder…are these folks at this website healthy able-bodied otherwise normal adults? Seems like they could find a better use for their talents. Sheesh.

    Think I will start a website with the names of people who really ought to be using their health and abilities for something other than clogging the internet arteries with this kind of crap.

    Having said that….Bubonic Plague….an old revenge tactic unleashed on humanity by mice.


    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      Whaat are they smoking. Do you twich?

  7. James! August 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    I’m not even going to waste my time going to a site like that. I am going to devote my time to looking for the silver bullet that’s going to beat ms!!!

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:12 am #


  8. Linda Lazarus August 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I copied this article about using 3D printer to create fake brain. Long but a way to help weird people like us!

    By Rachel Feltman August 11

    The neurons in the spongy scaffolding. (Tufts University)
    Bioengineers have created the most realistic fake brain tissue ever – and it’s built like a jelly doughnut. The 3-D tissue, described in a paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is so structurally similar to a real rat brain (a common substitute for human brains in the lab) that it could help scientists answer longstanding questions about brain injuries and disease.

    Neurons in the silk sponge region of the system. (Tufts University)
    Currently, the best way to study brain tissue is to grow neurons in a petri dish, but those neurons can only be grown flat. A real brain contains a complicated structure of 3-D tissue. Simply giving the neurons room to grow in three dimensions didn’t prove successful: While neurons will grow into more complicated structures in the right kind of gel, they don’t survive very long or mimic the structure of a real brain.

    Led by David Kaplan, the director of the Tissue Engineering Resource Center at Tufts University, researchers developed a new combination of materials to mimic the gray and white matter of the brain. The new model relies on a doughnut-shaped, spongy scaffold made of silk proteins with a collagen-based gel at the center.

    Each concentric ring holds a different type of neuron. (Tufts University)
    The outer scaffold layer, which is filled with rat neurons, acts as the grey matter of the brain. As the neurons grew networks throughout the scaffold, they sent branches out across the gel-filled center to connect with neurons on the other side. And that configuration is about as brain-like as lab-grown tissue can get. The basic structure can be reconfigured, too.

    By creating a model with six concentric rings, each populated with different types of neurons, the researchers were able to mimic the six layers of a human brain cortex. “It’s a form-fitting, Lego-like system, so we don’t have to worry about using glues, and how they might complicate the interfaces between these different compartments,” Kaplan said.

    With six layers, things get decidedly human. (Tufts University)
    In the PNAS paper, Kaplan and his colleagues report that the tissue can already survive for months at a time in the lab. They’ve used it to study the effect of traumatic brain injury on neuron activity (by dropping weights onto the tissue) immediately, instead of having to dissect a brain.

    “This is a very tunable way to construct a brain-like tissue with both the structure and function of a brain,” Kaplan said. And the Lego-block nature of the design means that researchers can manipulate it into the kinds of brain structures they want to study. “It could help us answer questions about neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s,” Kaplan said. And the model could be used to study the effects of the drugs used to treat brain-related ailments, like depression and epilepsy. Often, Kaplan said, the actual mechanisms of these vital drugs are a mystery.

    But a good model of the brain could probe into deeper questions, too. “There are questions we have that are more difficult to define, like how we store memories or how the brain feels pain,” Kaplan said. “It’s a long list of questions to answer, which is why we’re so excited.”

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:13 am #



  9. Amy Corcoran-Hunt August 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    I have nothing nice to say about primary progressive multiple sclerosis. But I don’t know why it made their top 7, on a list with Brain Eating Amoeba (good one!) when we have, for example, Urbach: a rare genetic disorder that hardens brain tissue, then destroys the amygdala, eliminating the sufferer’s fear response. Snakes, spiders, Shark Week, ghost stories, Open Carry Texas, nothing makes you afraid when you have Urbach. Weirder than demyelinization.

  10. Grandma August 12, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    What’s the opposite of Urbachs? I think I have that

  11. Mark August 13, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    That’s amazing. I looked at the site and I’m not sure if I found a bunch of new friends or if the world has gone completely crazy. As I sit here staring at the screen, I can’t help but think how much I like my dog.

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      I like your dog and we have not met. It was goofy.

  12. Bill Garcia August 13, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Well I don’t consider it to be MS should be considered weird. That would imply MS’ers are weird and I don’t consider myself weird.

    By the way I also get the smell of electrical burning from time to time. It sends me to all the rooms and electrical panels in my house. Juuuusst to make sure! Not weird more like concerned.

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      Not the first.


  13. Sarah August 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Ditto on the smell of smoke. It does come and go. I guess next, we should expect smoke to start billowing out of our ears?
    About Brilliant Bias – sounds like the night guardsman was bored and came up with one load of garbage after another just to make the night go by.

    • Richard M. Cohen August 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm #


  14. Andrew August 14, 2014 at 1:25 am #

    The Celtic origins of the word “weird” is a belief system that we are all interconnected by an invisible web. Pulling one side or thread of the web elicits a reaction on the other end. Thus we are all connected to actions and reactions of others in the web. It was referred to as “the Way of Weird.” The very notion we have responsibility for our actions, behavior, choices, thoughts, beliefs and are linked to one another, I suppose was “weird” to those from invading monotheistic patriarchal religions. Oh well, I’ve known I was weird way before I got MS. Most of my best friends have a bit of weird in them. Maybe it was a germ that invaded our bodies and minds from drinking Guinness???? or Red Harp . . .

    • cohen August 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

      I’ll stick with gin.


  15. nancy s August 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    I thought I was crazy smelling wood smoke from the fireplace that hadn’t been lit for

    months – now I know I’m just weird.

  16. Wendygilmo August 15, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    That episode of the “Twight Zone” was one of my very favorites. I think it must have been the inspiration for the movie “Cocoon”. I first discovered the “Twight Zone” when I was 10 years old. I could only watch it in the daytime because I would get so scared!!! That episode was great.
    I happen to think that MS a weird disease. Like Richard said in a previous post….if my choices are such horrible diseases….I guess I would take MS. It pisses me off to say that!!!! No matter how bad it gets, I know it could always be worse. I am thankful that I still have my arms and my legs, even though if I don’t function as they should.
    I don’t smell smoke, but there are many times when I smell… Cleanser! I mean like Comet cleanser. It wouldn’t be so strange except for the fact that I never buy, cleanser.

  17. JoanBee August 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    “It’s a form-fitting, Lego-like system, so we don’t have to worry about using glues…”

    I think that’s good because if they had to use Crazy Glue on a brain, there could be problems…