Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome

Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS) is caused by an abnormal opening between the uppermost semicircular canal in the upper part of the inner ear and the brain.
Deep inside the inner ear are three delicate, fluid-filled loops called semicircular canals, which detect head rotations. In very rare instances, during fetal development, the uppermost semicircular canal fails to close or thicken normally. Both normal balance and hearing depend on this canal forming a closed passageway, with sound coming in through one end (the stapes bone at the oval window) and out the other (an opening in the inner ear called the round window). With a thin area or opening in the canal, sound can “leak” through and reverberate in the brain. In addition, the vibration of sound can move the fluid in the canal.

Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome can cause problems with hearing and balance, either intermittent or constant. Sound vibrations escape the normally closed system of the inner ear and activate the hair cells that sense rotation in the superior canal. A loud noise can cause a sensation that the world is tumbling or bobbing up and down. Coughing or sneezing can cause the same phenomenon.

Another somewhat disturbing symptom of Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome is autophony ('hearing one self'). While some sounds from the outside of the body are perceived normally through the ear, sound from inside the body such as breathing, heartbeat and blood flow — or even slight movement of the muscles surrounding the eye — may enter the inner ear directly through the abnormal third opening.

When people with Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome speak, they may hear their voice simultaneously from inside and outside of the body, which can be overwhelmingly loud. Many patients with Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome resort to whispering to avoid hearing too much noise.

Titanic Syndrome

The Titanic Syndrome is a concept shamelessly and insensitively devised by Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva. She thinks that the syndrome describes the eerie similarities between the disaster of the reportedly unsinkable Titanic and today's major companies.

The question is why for your own personal gain you would want to use a disaster where more than 1500 lost their lives.

There are several factors that lead to the disaster of RMS Titanic in 1912, says Zhexembayeva. The first was that the crew ignored at least six warnings about possible icebergs in the vicinity. The second was an over-reliance on past successes. First officer William Murdoch (39) had 16 years of maritime experience and was known for just one example of averting a collision. It was one of the reasons he was chosen to be the first officer, but a ship the size of the Titanic would react very slowly to rudder commands, so 37 seconds would not be enough to avert the collision with the iceberg. The third factor was that the lookouts did not have binoculars, because these were in a storage cabinet, securely locked up.

The fourth factor is, of course, the iceberg itself. It simply existed and signifies everything a company might find unexpectedly in its path. Blame sneaky competitors, overbearing regulators, bad weather, bad design, late suppliers, lazy customers, those finance-department knuckleheads. It is so easy to blame these sudden obstacles on someone else. Somehow, Zhexembayeva manages to conveniently forget that it was the decision of the captain to sail on at maximum speed in order to appease his wealthy passengers.
Every year, with remarkable consistency, we see companies sailing into an iceberg a crisis. Many of these companies end up getting acquired, declaring bankruptcy or simply never recovering from a downturn. One statistic best illustrates the poor survival rate of the business world’s 'unsinkable titans'': of the 500 companies originally included on the Fortune 500 in 1955, today only 60 survive. That’s a sinking rate of 88%.

The problem, however, is that all of this was known beforehand and Zhexembayeva simply hijacked the issue by inventing a name and becoming famous for it. Zhexembayeva calls herself a Chief Reinvention Officier. That should have been Chief CopyPaste Officer. Only in America.

Attention Surplus Syndrome

Teachers find this just as bad as the other sort. No one likes a child who pays attention too hard, whose eyes follow your every move, and who listens very carefully to everything you say. It’s like talking to a great big bottomless ear.

Advanced cases correct spelling and pronunciation in a clear piping voice, and point out errors of fact to the rest of the class. They also have the infuriating habit of reading all the way to the end of the classroom reader on the first day of term, instead of having the decency to read at the geological speed considered correct for the rest of their age group.

Expel at the earliest opportunity.
This syndrome was first described by Terry Pratchett in his short story 'Medical Notes' (2002). The story appeared in Pratchett's 'A Blink of the Screen' (2013). Buy the book here.

I am wondering if the opposite of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which would be Attention Surplus Hypoactivity Disorder (ASHD) also drives teachers mad.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder has been estimated to occur in up to one-third of adult women, but most estimates are much lower.
It is rather vaguely defined as 'the persistent or recurrent deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity with marked distress or interpersonal difficulty not otherwise accounted for by a general medical or psychiatric condition[1]. It may be primary or secondary, lifelong or acquired, or generalized or situational'.

Well, you might think that this is a rather problematic disorder, nut there are several problems: the diagnostic category of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder has been criticized on several grounds. It is poorly defined and may have more of a social function than a medical one. The syndrome itself may even be not one, but a diverse group of conditions and may have many causes. The requirement that it causes distress may be problematic. The parameters of normality are not yet well understood. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder has been accused of medicalising sexuality and pathologising normal variations.

So, while Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder may not even be an existing disorder, some companies are vying to bring 'a solution' to the market.

Vyleesi (bremelanotide) was approved by the FDA following just small two clinical trials. It has been hyped as 'female Viagra'. It is no such thing, bacause Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men who have sexual desire, but are unable to perform. Vyleesi is used to treat women who don’t have sexual desire, but want to. That may be a real problem for some women, but the new drug is far from an ideal solution. It’s not very effective and is problematic in other ways. A stunning 40 percent of test persons reported nausea. It cannot be used with alcohol. It may cost $50-75 per dose, with an anticipated average of four doses per month[2]. Its long-term effects have not even been studied.

Vyleesi needs to be injected about 45 minutes before their sexual activities. So patients have to plan for injection 45 minutes before sex, and then it only increases desire without increasing the number of satisfying sexual events. How often can women plan sex 45 minutes ahead? What about spontaneity?

[1] Goldstein et al: Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in Mayo Clinic Proceedings - 2017. See here.
[2] Osborne: Amag’s Vyleesi cleared in HSDD; ‘next chapter’ begins in BioWorld. See here.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). It is an uncommon disorder of unknown etiology of a portion of the body, usually starting in a limb, which manifests as extreme pain, swelling, limited range of motion and changes to the skin and bones. The pain is described as extreme.

It may initially affect one limb and then spread throughout the body; 35% of affected people report symptoms throughout their whole bodies.

There are two subtypes: Type I occurs after an illness or injury with no direct evidence of nerve damage in the affected limb. Type II (causalgia) has distinct evidence of a nerve injury.

It is proposed that inflammation and alteration of pain perception in the central nervous system play important roles. It has been suggested that persistent pain and the perception of non-painful stimuli as painful may be caused by inflammatory molecules (IL-1, IL2, TNF-alpha) and neuropeptides (substance P) released from peripheral nerves. This release may be caused by inappropriate crosstalk between sensory and motor fibers at the affected site.

Treatment options are limited. Tentative evidence supports the use of bisphosphonates, calcitonin and ketamine[1]. Amputation of the affected limb may be the ultimate result.

A moving story can be read here.

[1] Wand et al: Interventions for treating pain and disability in adults with complex regional pain syndrome‐ an overview of systematic reviews in Cochrane Database - 2013

Funny Name Syndrome

Funny Name Syndrome is a term coined by British (or Scottish or Scottish-Bengali) mystery writer Abir Mukherjee, known for his Sam Wyndham mysteries.
He thinks he suffers from what is known in the business as ‘Funny Name Syndrome’. You see, it turns out that a significant number of readers (in the UK at least, though he suspects also further afield) are put off by a name they can’t pronounce.

What’s more, a friend of Abir Mukherjee carried out some audience testing on a range of potential pen-names, and found that those which performed worst with his target audience of British and American readers were Asian names.

The Funny Name Syndrome seems a derivative of the practice in the publishing world to 'defeminise' female writers. So, Joanne Rowling became J.K. Rowling, Elaine Thomson became E.S. Thomson, Shona Maclean became S.G. Maclean and Alexandra Benedict was forced to rename herself as A.K. Benedict. This seems to be the result of the false dichotomy that only male authors can attract a large following.

But having a name that is unfamiliar to others might have a positive side, because people tend to remember unusual names, like Honeysuckle Weeks or Rosamund Pike, better than run-of-the-mill names.
So, Abir Mukherjee might even be blessed to suffer from an unusual condition like Funny Name Syndrome.

Koch's Syndrome

These days, Koch’s Syndrome (or Koch's Syndrome) is a social psychological malady named after the infamous American billionaires Charles (1935) and David Koch (1940-2019)[1].
The Koch Syndrome combines an obsessive-compulsive need to accumulate money and a deep-seated fear of being found unworthy. Surrounded by spineless underlings all their lives, they've no idea if they've ever really deserved it. The condition was first used by the American columnist Gene Lyons.

But the original Koch's Syndrome or Koch's Disease was just one of the older and now virually forgotten names of tuberculosis.
Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (1843-1910) was a German microbiologist. He is regarded as the founder of modern bacteriology: he identified the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera and anthrax. He gave experimental support for the concept of infectious disease, which included experiments. His research led to the creation of Koch's postulates, a series of four generalized principles linking specific microorganisms to specific diseases that remain today the 'gold standard' in medical microbiology. For his research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905.

[1] Gene Lyons: Pity the plutocrats in Arkansas Times – 10 April 2014. See here.

Havana Syndrome

In August 2017, reports began to surface that at least 26 of American and Canadian diplomatic personnel in Havana, Cuba, had experienced unusual, unexplained health problems dating back to late 2016[1]. Many of the diplomats said to be suffering from dizziness, insomnia, hearing loss, and other troubling symptoms[2].
In October 2017, the United States even expelled 15 Cuban diplomats in response to the illnesses, because president Trump 'believed Cuba was behinds the attacks'. In September, the U.S. State Department stated that it was removing non-essential staff from the U.S. embassy and warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Cuba.

Five Canadian diplomats and their family members who became mysteriously ill while posted to Cuba are suing Ottawa for more than $28 million, 'because their country failed to protect them'.

Their health problems typically had a sudden onset: the victim would suddenly begin hearing strange grating noises that they perceived as coming from a specific direction. Some of them experienced it as a pressure or a vibration, Others as a sensation comparable to driving a car with the window partly rolled down. The duration of these attacks ranged from 20 seconds to 30 minutes, and always happened while the diplomats were either at home or in hotel rooms. Other people nearby, family members and guests in neighboring rooms, did not report hearing anything. Reports of a secret sonic weapon began to circulate.
So, what or who was really responsible for these health problems. After a long investigation it seemed that the strange noises were not mechanical in nature, but biological. When biologist Alexander Stubbs heard a recording, he realized that the noise sounded like the insects he used to hear while in the Caribbean. Together with Fernando Montealegre-Z, an expert on entomological acoustics, Stubbs scoured an online database of insect recordings. They found that one species, the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus), makes a call that is indistinguishable from the enigmatic Cuban recording.
So, the Havana Syndrome is nothing more than a case of Mass Psychogenic Illness or mass hysteria. Those Americans are like children. So gullible.

[1] Entous, Anderson: the Havana Syndrome: Unexplained brain injuries afflicted dozens of American diplomats and spies. What happened? in The New Yorker - 19 november 2018. See here.
[2]Swanson et al: Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba in JAMA - 2018. See here.

Paradoxical Undressing Syndrome

Cold, real cold can result in physical problems, like hypothermia and frostbite. But the freezing cold can also play havoc with your brain. We have already reported on the Third Man Syndrome and the Arctic Hysteria Syndrome. But those are transient syndromes, the Paradoxical Undressing Syndrome is worse. It is deadly.
It is estimated that twenty to fifty percent of hypothermia deaths are associated with paradoxical undressing[1]. This typically occurs during moderate and severe hypothermia, as the person becomes disoriented, confused, and combative. They may begin discarding their clothing, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat loss.

One explanation for the effect is a cold-induced malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. Another explanation is that the muscles contracting peripheral blood vessels become exhausted (known as a loss of vasomotor tone) and relax, leading to a sudden surge of blood (and heat) to the extremities, causing the person to feel overheated.

In the end, when death from hypothermia is imminent, another strange phenomenon occurs: Terminal Burrowing Behaviour[2]. It is an apparent self-protective behaviour, also known as the Hide-and-Die Syndrome. Like a dying cat that will search for an secluded place, the afflicted will enter small, enclosed spaces, such as underneath beds or behind wardrobes. Researchers suggest this is possibly an autonomous process of the brain stem, which is triggered in the final state of hypothermia and produces a primitive and burrowing-like behavior of protection. This happens mostly in cases where temperature drops slowly.

[1] Turk: Hyperthermia in Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology - 2010
[2] Rothschild, Schneider V: Terminal burrowing behaviour: a phenomenon of lethal hypothermia in International Journal of Legal Medicine - 1995

Cold Cow Syndrome

Cold Cow Syndrome is a herd disease problem, reported only from the United Kingdom since the early 1980s. Ir is an unusual disease of unknown cause, which usually occurs in early spring in lactating cows freshly turned out onto lush ryegrass pastures[1].
It has been seen in most areas of the UK. The syndrome can affect up to 80% of a group of cows. The most likely cause is the intake of very high levels (27% to 43%) of soluble carbohydrates, but other suggestions include that mycotoxins such as zearalenone, a potent estrogenic compound, might be involved. There does not appear to be any link with weather conditions.

Signs and symptoms of Cold Cow Syndrome include [a] weakness, the cow appears drunk, wobbling and falling over; [b] hypothermia, the cow feels cold to the touch, but body temperature is normal; [c] profuse non-smelling diarrhoea and [d] sudden dramatic milk drop (up to 100% in affected cows). Some have perineal edema, some collapse. Cows unable to stand will require nursing care.

There is no specific treatment, except that affected herds should be housed for at least 24 hours before they are moved to a new pasture. The milk production will quickly return to normal.

The problem may occur on the same pasture each year, thus avoiding the use of that pasture in early spring may be helpful.

Until the cause of the diseases is better understood then further preventative measures are not possible.

[1] Constablre et al: Veterinary Medicine: A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs and Goats - 2017

Dancing Cat Syndrome

Mercury is a heavy metal of known toxicity, noted for inducing the public health disasters in Minamata Bay, Japan[1]. Human toxicity varies with the form of mercury, the dose and the rate of exposure.

Mercury exposure can lead to developmental problems in the brain, which can also affect physical functions such as motor skills. Some children who are exposed to mercury at a young age may develop learning disabilities. Adults with mercury poisoning may have permanent brain and kidney damage. Circulatory failure is another possible type of complication.

Mercury is most notable for its neurological effects. High amounts of mercury can lead to long-term and sometimes permanent neurological changes as is shown by the so-called Mad Hatter Syndrome. Also early mentions of Morgellons Syndrome, observed in the the Languedoc in southern France in the early 1600s, can be traced back to cinnabar, used as a textile dye[2]. Cinnabar is  a bright red mineral consisting of mercuric sulphide.
But, if mercury is toxic to humans, it must also be so for animals, like cats. Minamata disease (in humans) was first discovered in the city of Minamata in Japan, in 1956. It was caused by the release of huge amounts of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the adjoining Shiranui Sea. When consumed by the local population, it resulted in mercury poisoning, leading to at least 1,784 patients who died. There was also an abnormally high frequency of cerebral palsy and other infantile disorders in the Minamata area.

While death of cats, dogs, pigs and humans continued for 36 years, both the government and company did little to prevent the pollution. The neurological effects were severe enough in cats that they came to be named as having 'Dancing Cat Syndrome'.

[1] Environmental Health Department, Ministry of the Environment. Minimata Disease: The History and Measures. Tokyo, Japan: Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan - 2002
[2] Keleher: Patterns in Early Morgellons Disease in Considered as Effects of Mercury Exposure in Morgellons Research - 200. See here.

Millennial Duck Syndrome

Faking it until you make it is rampant among millennials. They post Instagram photos of themselves laughing and drinking with their cool coworkers. By all appearances, they’re young, happy and recently promoted. In truth, many of them are stressed at entry-level desk jobs with the weight of their own expectations and the reality that success takes time. They hoped they’d be further by now.
It’s called the Millennial Duck Syndrome, Ugly Duckling Syndrome or simpy Duck Syndrome. Everyone appears to be gliding effortlessly across their college years. But below the surface, their little duck feet are paddling furiously, sometimes just to stay in the same place. For students, the Millennial Duck Syndrome represents a false ease and fronted genius. Frustration, depression, anxiety, self-doubt, effort and failure drive their angst[1].

The same is often true for ambitious millennials in the workplace. They don’t discuss their imposter syndrome, their embarrassing conversations with managers, their angst-y boredom with everything and anything. Their crafted image of success and stability depends on stifling these normal human problems.
And their duck faces in social media and elsewhere actually fool people. Everyone thinks everyone else has it together.

Since the Millennial Duck Syndrome is not a formal diagnosis, the underlying depression, anxiety, and any other mental-health problem would be assessed.

[1] Robinson et al: Social comparisons, social media addiction, and social interaction: An examination of specific social media behaviors related to major depressive disorder in a millennial population in Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research - 2019

Third Man Syndrome

The Third Man Syndrome (also known as Third Man Factor) refers to the reported situations where an unseen presence such as a spirit provides comfort, solace or support during traumatic experiences.
[Wild South Georgia]
In his book 'South!: The Endurance Expedition', Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922), described his belief that an incorporeal being joined him and two others during the final leg of their journey. Shackleton wrote, "When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us, not only across those snowfields, but across the strom-white sea that seperated Elephant Island from our landing-pace on South-Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia, it seemed to me often that we were four, not three.".
[Shackleton's Endurance caught in the ice]
In 1933, British explorer Frank Smyth almost became the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Unbeknownst to him, the rest of his team had fallen back, unable to make it through the sweeping wind, snow, ice and low oxygen. Smyth continued, but never made it to the top — he missed it by 1,000 feet. Later, writing in his diary, Smyth recounted how at one point on the ascent, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a slab of Kendal mint cake, broke it in half and turned around to give the other half to a companion. But there was no one there: "All the time that I was climbing alone, I had a strong feeling that I was accompanied by a second person. The feeling was so strong that it completely eliminated all loneliness I might otherwise have felt."
One study of cases involving adventurers reported that the largest group involved climbers, with solo sailors and shipwreck survivors being the second most common group, followed by polar explorers[1].
The syndrome was first clinically documented in the 1940s, psychologists have postulated various triggers and explanations ranging from sensory deprivation, extreme fatigue and boredom, to an evolutionary adaptation. If one person can summon up a benevolent presence while others are incapable of such a thing, then the psychological comfort may give a boost in the survival stakes. It is considered to be a coping mechanism or an example of bicameralism[2].

[1] Suedfeld, Geiger: The sensed presence as a coping resource in extreme environments in Miracles God, Science, and Psychology in the Paranormal (Vol.3) - 2008 
[2] McGregor: An adventurer’s guardian angel: the third man in Australian Geographic – 2012. See here.

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

The Shifting Baseline Syndrome is a psychological and sociological phenomenon that is used to describe the constantly lowering of people's accepted thresholds for environmental conditions.
In the absence of past information or experience with historical conditions, members of each new generation accept the situation in which they were raised as being normal. Researchers envisage several self‐reinforcing feedback loops that allow the consequences of Shifting Baseline Syndrome to further accelerate Shifting Baseline Syndrome through progressive environmental degradation.

For instance: When the Italian navigator John Cabot – Giovanni Caboto (ca. 1450-ca. 1500) came to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland in 1497 he was astonished at what he saw. Fish, so many fish — fish in numbers he could hardly comprehend. According to Farley Mowat, Cabot wrote that the waters were so "swarming with fish [that they] could be taken not only with a net but in baskets let down and [weighted] with a stone."

The fisheries boomed for five hundred years, but by 1992 it was all over. The Grand Banks cod fishery was destroyed, and the Canadian government was forced to close it entirely, putting 30,000 fishermen out of work. It has never recovered.
In 1995 fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly explained that "Each generation of fisheries scientist accepts as baseline the stock situation that occurred at the beginning of their careers, and uses this to evaluate changes. When the next generation starts its career, the stocks have further declined, but it is the stocks at that time that serve as a new baseline. The result obviously is a gradual shift of the baseline, a gradual accommodation of the creeping disappearance of resource species…"

Most scientific disciplines have long timelines of data, but many ecological disciplines don't. We don't have enough data to know what is normal, so we convince ourselves that the current situation is normal. Which it isn't[1][2].

[1] Plumeridge, Roberts: Conservation targets in marine protected area management suffer from shifting baseline syndrome: A case study on the Dogger Bank in Marine Pollution Bulletin – 2017
[2] Turvey et al: Rapidly shifting baselines in Yangtze fishing communities and local memory of extinct species in Conservation Biology - 2010

Katayama Syndrome

Katayama Syndrome is an early clinical manifestation of schistosomiasis that occurs several weeks post-infection with Schistosoma spp (trematode) worms[1].
Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by an infection by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. The disease is spread by contact with fresh water contaminated with the parasites. These parasites are released from infected freshwater snails. The disease is especially common among children in developing countries as they are more likely to play in contaminated water. Other high risk groups include farmers, fishermen, and people using unclean water during daily living. The urinary tract or the intestines may be infected.
[Adult male Schistosoma parasite flatworm]

Symptoms of schistosomiasis include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. Those who have been infected for a long time may experience liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer. In children, it may cause poor growth and learning difficulty.

The problem is that there is a temporal delay before the actual symptoms of schistosomiasis appear. The patient exibits some non-specific symptoms and it is the form of schistosomiasis most likely to be misdiagnosed by travel medicine physicians and infectious disease specialists in non-endemic countries.

Katayama syndrome appears between 14–84 days after non-immune individuals are exposed to first schistosome infection or heavy reinfection. Disease onset appears to be related to migrating schistosomula and egg deposition with individuals typically presenting with nocturnal fever, cough, myalgia, headache, and abdominal tenderness. Diffuse pulmonary infiltrates are found radiologically, and almost all cases have eosinophilia and a history of water contact 14–84 days before presentation of clinical symptoms; patients respond well to regimens of praziquantel with and without steroids. Artemisinin treatment given early after exposure may decrease the risk of the syndrome.

[1] Ross et al: Katayama syndrome in Lancet Infectious Diseases - 2007

Ulysses Syndrome

The Ulysses Syndrome is a syndrome coined by Joseba Achotegui, Professor of Psychotherapy in Barcelona[1]. It is sometimes called the Immigrant Syndrome of Chronic and Multiple Stress, but the problem with the alternative name is that most immigrants are also emigrants, yet they are both migrants.
The syndrome is named after the classical Greek hero, Odysseus, who was unable to return home and travelled for some 10 years through the Mediterranean after the end of the decade-long Trojan War. The hardships of his journey are compared to the ones of contemporary migrants, who must struggle with intensely stressful, novel situations in isolation and with little help. Scarcity of their resources makes it impossible to cope with and successfully adapt to the unfamiliar environment of the receiving country, which in turn leads to experiencing a range of detrimental symptoms.

The Ulysses Syndrome is described as an atypical set of depressive, anxious, dissociative, and somatoform symptoms that results from being exposed to extreme levels of stress unique to the process of modern migration. Rather than a mental disorder, this syndrome is a natural reaction to toxic levels of stress seen in migrants who are otherwise in normal mental health[2].

Symptoms of Ulysses syndrome include migraines, insomnia, recurrent worrying, tension, nervousness, irritability, disorientation, fear, fatigue, sadness, gastric pain, bone pain, low self-esteem, increased tobacco and alcohol consumption, and decreased productivity.

A lack of social support or access to appropriate medical care may aggravate these symptoms. The problem, of course, is that the term emigrant or immigrant is often a misnomer, because these symptoms are mostly the result of being an illegal asylum seeker. These are arriving into countries that differ vastly in culture from their original home countries. The Ulysses Syndrome is therefore also a culture shock.

[1] Achotegui: Migración y Salud Mental. El Síndrome del inmigrante con estrés crónico y múltiple (síndome de Ulises) in Vertex - 2005
[2] Bianucci et al: The "Ulysses syndrome": An eponym identifies a psychosomatic disorder in modern migrants in European Journal of International Medicine – 2017

Saint John's Syndrome

The name of Saint John's Syndrome is obviously borrowed from the biblical Saint John who wrote about this disease in the Bible. John described it in Chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelations.
Saint John's Syndrome is a psychological problem of second-generation churches which lack the commitment of the first generation. This second generation lacks the same sense of purpose as the first members.

In other words: it is a sort of apathy or 'lukewarmness' of the believers who take the church for granted. Believers stop actively participating in festivities or other activities. They take the church (the building and the institution itself) and what it stands for for granted.

Saint John's Syndrome is only one of the problems that can beset a church. To be complete, I shall mention these other problems[1].

[1] Ethnikitis happens when a church finds itself in an changing neighbourhood and refuses to adapt to serve the people who now actually live in their community.
[2] People Blindness occurs when we look past the different kinds of people around us. The people are there but we, for various reasons, seem not to be able to see them.
[3] Hypercooperation happens when a church works harder to get along with other believers rather than focusing on God’s mission.
[4] Koinonitis is the disease we experience when our local fellowship is too tight to let new people in.
[5] Sociological Strangulation happens when the potential of growth is there but we can’t keep up with leadership and structural development to support growth.
[6] Arrested Spiritual Development is the condition where long-time “disciples” of Jesus have not progressively grown into becoming like Jesus.

[1] Peter Wagner: The Healthy Church (1996)

Acute Amnestic Syndrome Associated with Fentanyl Overdose

Between 2012 and 2016, a number of patients in Massachusetts (USA) presented to doctors with a strange syndrome of unknown cause. The original 14 patients all showed signs of cognitive issues, including orientation and attention problems, as well as an acute anterograde amnestic syndrome.
As more people showed up at Massachusetts hospitals with the same condition, each with memory problems that lasted months, doctors tested for what might connect them. All had damage to the hippocampus, but it turned out 12 of the 14 patients were also found to have traces of opioids in their system. However, this alone wouldn't account for their symptoms.

Now five more cases of the condition, four of these are described in an scientific article. They all had one thing in common: They all tested positive for fentanyl[1]. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, to be used as a pain medication. However, its misuse has resulted a spiraling number of fatalities per year. Provisional numbers for 2017 say almost 30,000 Americans have died from overdosing on fentanyl[2].
They think the syndrome may be appearing to be on the rise due to an increase in fentanyl in illicit drugs. They write that fentanyl has been shown to create neuronal damage in the hippocampus of rats in previous studies, suggesting the link between the syndrome and fentanyl is likely[3].

The sad conclusion of this is that Americans are collectively so unhappy that they are perhaps unconsciously feeling that suicide or amnesia are an answer to their problems.

[1] Barash et al: Acute Amnestic Syndrome Associated with Fentanyl Overdose in letter to the Editor of New England Journal of Medicine – 2018
[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse: Overdose Death Rates – Revised August 2018
[3] Kofke et al: Opioid neurotoxicity: fentanyl dose-response effects in rats in Anesthesia and Analgesia – 1996

Small Dog Syndrome

Small Dog Syndrome is the name given to a collection of behaviour displayed by small dogs, behaviours that have the effect of overcoming any deficits caused by being small in stature. The problem is reminiscent of a inferiority complex in humans.
Typical behaviours displayed include: [1] excitable behaviour, [2] jumping up on owners, other people or dogs, [3] Growling at people or other dogs, [4] Lunging or snapping at perceived threats, [5] Avoidance or fear of larger dogs, typically hiding behind or trying to be picked up by owner, [6] Reluctance to move off sofas and beds, [7] Separation anxiety symptoms and [8] Failure to obey commands.

This does not mean that every small dog will display these behaviours, or that each of these behaviours is indicative of Small Dog Syndrome. Collectively, however, these behaviours make life with small dogs difficult for owners and for other people and animals around them but there are ways of improving their behaviour.

Changing dog behaviour generally involves changing owner behaviour too and, as some 'dog psychologists' believe, this syndrome may have more to do with the owner’s behaviour than their dogs! Understanding dog behaviour, and how humans affect it, is the first step in improving the negative aspects of Small Dog Syndrome.

The question remains, however, why people want to own such a small dog with its known behavioural problems. Maybe they are kindred spirits.


Trump Derangement Syndrome

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a neologism [from Greek néo (νέο), 'new' and lógos (λόγος) 'word', 'utterance'] applied by some writers and commentators to describe a type of criticism of US President Donald Trump by liberals, progressives, and Never Trump conservatives, who are said to respond to statements and political actions by Trump in a manner verging on the irrational, with little regard to his actual position or action taken.
The problem however is that Trump is probably suffering from early stages of dementia and that, coupled to his bullying nature, is leading to actions and words that are objectionary, sometimes even to his staunchest followers.

Yet, in the eyes of the objective onlooker, Trump is mentally unstable and unfit to hold such a high office.

The syndrome can be traced to Bush Derangement Syndrome, a phrase coined by Charles Krauthammer in 2003, during the presidency of George W. Bush, and defined by Krauthammer as "the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency – nay – the very existence of George W. Bush[1]."

Krauthammer, now a harsh critic of Trump, defined Trump Derangement Syndrome as describing a Trump-induced "general hysteria" among the chattering classes, producing an "inability to distinguish between legitimate policy differences and... signs of psychic pathology" in the President's behaviour[1].

[1] Krauthammer: You can't govern by ID: Charles Krauthammer - June 2017. See here.

Quannot's Syndrome

"There's got to be something I can do." ―Cray Mingla, upon learning of Marr's diagnosis

Quannot's Syndrome was a debilitating and ultimately fatal disease that caused immense pain to its victims. Humans were among the susceptible species, and the pain caused by the disease could be held at bay with high doses of painkillers such as perigen, a mild, non-narcotic painkiller applied in patch form. There's no cure for Quannot's Syndrome.

During the Cold War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, the Empire's Moff Taigo was diagnosed with the disease and acquired several organs from the black market in order to replace his infected organs. Zelebitha Effhod, the First Minister of the Coruscant Ministry of Ingress, died from Quannot's Syndrome in 22 BBY on the eve of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Around 12 ABY, the Jedi trainee Nichos Marr was diagnosed with Quannot's Syndrome, and though his lover Cray Mingla sought to cure him, her efforts to transfer his consciousness to a droid body failed and Marr died.

Quannot's Syndrome first appeared in the 1995 novel 'Children of the Jedi', and has been mentioned in several reference guides and other material since then.

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Frequent users of cannabis often talk about the drug as harmless and possibly having a series of positive effects on body and mind. There are, however, some serious medical issues that can arise when using cannabis.
In your brain, cannabis can overwhelm the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex and important regulator of stress response and allostasis. The result is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome[1].

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is characterized by recurrent nausea, vomiting and crampy abdominal pain[2]. It can easily lead to dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities.

The symptoms may be improved temporarily by taking a hot shower or hot bath. The symptoms return the moment the water turns tepid. The recurring problem may lead to compulsive bathing behaviours. The only fully foolproof cure is stopping the use of cannabis.

The problem is of course that the use of cannabis in the US has been decriminalised in several states. This may result in a dramatic increase in the number of cases.

While there are no known cases of fatal overdose from cannabis use in the epidemiologic literature, the use is certainly detrimental to your health in the long run. Studies suggest that some adverse health outcomes may be elevated among heavy cannabis users, namely, fatal motor vehicle accidents, and possibly respiratory and brain cancers[3].

Compulsive Vomiting Syndrome is a possible differential diagnosis if and when the use of cannabis can be ruled out.

[1] Sontineni et al: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome: Clinical diagnosis of an underrecognised manifestation of chronic cannabis abuse in World Journal of Gastroenterology – 2009. See here.
[2] Sorensen et al: Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment-a Systematic Review in Journal of Medical Toxicology – 2017
[3] Calabria et al: Does cannabis use increase the risk of death? Systematic review of epidemiological evidence on adverse effects of cannabis use in Drug and Alcohol Review - 2010

Propofol Infusion Syndrome

Propofol Infusion Syndrome, often shortened to PRIS, is a rare syndrome which affects patients undergoing long-term treatment with high doses of the anaesthetic and sedative drug propofol[1].

Propofol Infusion Syndrome can lead to cardiac failure, rhabdomyolysis (direct or indirect muscle injury), metabolic acidosis and kidney failure. It is often fatal. High blood potassium, high blood triglycerides and liver enlargement (fatty liver) are thought to be caused by either 'a direct mitochondrial respiratory chain inhibition or impaired mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism' are also key features.

The syndrome is associated with high doses and long-term use of propofol (> 4 mg/kg/h for more than 24 hours). It occurs more commonly in children and critically ill patients. Patients receiving catecholamines and glucocorticoids are at high risk.

Treatment is supportive. Haemodialysis or haemoperfusion are potential treatments. Early recognition of the syndrome and discontinuation of the propofol infusion reduces morbidity and mortality.

Propofol was only introduced in 1986. Propofol's abuse potential emerged quickly in the US and was highlighted by the death of pop singer Michael Jackson in 2009[2].

[1] Kam, Cardone: Propofol infusion syndrome in Anaesthesia – 2007
[2] Diaz, Kaye: Death by propofol in Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society - 2017

Fluffy Soil Syndrome (or Rootless Corn Syndrome)

Soil tillage is one of the most common management practices in any crop production systems. Tilling can lead to increased yields, but also has some risks. The first is the increased risk for wind and water erosion. The second is the acceleration of oxidation of organic matter in the soil. The third is the risk of compacting the subsoil just below the depth of tillage[1].
The last risk can lead to a fluffy soil and that in turn can lead to a problem called Rootless Corn Syndrome. Sometimes seeds are planted in dry, loose, fluffy soil. When the weather turns wet, the rains compress the soil, causing the nodal roots to form closer to the soil surface than normal. This, along with fluctuating environmental conditions that have occurred through most of the growing season, can cause the nodal roots to cease normal growth.
If nodal roots fail to form, affected corn plants depend on the seminal roots and mesocotyl for nourishment, and the seminal roots become the primary anchor for the corn plant. Without the nodal roots, the corn plants do not have much of an 'anchor' to help them stay upright. This is when we see floppy corn that is easily blown over by the wind.

Another cause of rootless corn is shallow-planted corn, which places the crown close to the soil surface, causing nodal root development near the soil surface rather than its usual depth of around three centimeters.

[1] Daigh, Dejong-Hughes: Fluffy soil syndrome: When tilled soil does not settle in Journal of Soil and Water Conservation - 2017

Tired Mountain Syndrome

Some countries (read: North Korea) conduct nuclear explosions deep within a mountain. Tunnels are drilled (by political prisoners housed in concentration camps) deep into a mountain to prevent radiation reaching the surface. The North Korean Punggye-ri site comprises a number of tunnel complexes. Five nuclear explosions have been conducted in a tunnel complex to the north of the support area, under Mount Mantap.
Now, scientists are worried that the entire mountain might collapse in on itself and release a cloud of radiation onto the surrounding area. Satellite images captured during North Korea's test of a nuclear bomb in September 2017, Mount Mantap could be seen visibly subsided during the explosion, an indication of both the size of the blast and the weakness of the mountain. The enormous detonation which triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in northeastern North Korea. And since that test, the region - which is not known for seismic activity - has experienced several landslides and no fewer than three more earthquakes. The tremors even shook homes in southeastern China. And eight minutes after the initial quake subsided, there was a 4.1-magnitude earthquake that appeared to be a tunnel collapsing at the site[1].

Scientists call this the Tired Mountain Syndrome. Mount Mantap is possibly weakened to the point of collapsing in on itself.

But perhaps equally as concerning as the collapse of Mantap is the possibility that another test could trigger an eruption at Mount Paektu, an active supervolcano located on the North Korea-China border, about 80 miles from Pyungge-ri.

[1] South China Morning Post: North Korea nuclear test site has signs of ‘Tired Mountain Syndrome’ after five blasts – October 18, 2017

Fried Rice Syndrome

In the tropics, food deteriorates fast. Even after a couple of hours meat can turn rancid and that's the sole reason consumers in that parts of the world always like their food spicy: pepper and chili peppers both act as an antibacterial and both mask the taste of decay.
Fried rice is also not immune to bacteria. The bacterium Bacillus cereus, a close relative of Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax, likes to invade fried rice. The bacteria are classically contracted from fried rice dishes that have been sitting at room temperature for hours.

Bacillus cereus is responsible for a growing number of foodborne illnesses, causing severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea[1].

But now there's a more menacing problem: in the tropical rainforests of Ivory Coast, Bacillus cereus has acquired two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, possibly from Bacillus anthracis, encoding most of the genes that make anthrax such a formidable killer[2].

That version of Bacillus cereus is called Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis. If that variant manages to escape the African rainforests, we're in for some serious and deadly problems.

[1] Katranta et al: Epidemiology and pathogenesis of Bacillus cereus infections in Microbes and Infection – 2000
[2] Leendertz et al: A New Bacillus anthracis Found in Wild Chimpanzees and a Gorilla from West and Central Africa in PloS Pathogens – 2006

Rushing Woman's Syndrome

According to research, long-term activation of the stress-response system - and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones - can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including: anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain (or loss), memory and concentration impairment.
Stress can be the result of a perceived or a real threat. The body knows that it is stressed and responds with a fight or flight reaction. But your body doesn't know the difference between the stress we feel at work or stress from the risk of an attack. The cumulative effect of constantly feeling pressure can create a cascade of stress hormones that is detrimental to our physical and mental health.

Diet and alcohol also stimulate stress hormones. Add in a lack of sleep and you have yourself a heady chemical concoction.

These are problems that affect many of us, but some want to earn some money out of other people's psychological and physical discomfort. Such a person is Libby Weaver, a New Zealand-based biochemist and nutritionist, but NOT a medical doctor. She coined the term 'Rushing Woman’s Syndrome' in 2012. She believes imbalanced sex and stress hormones cause problems with 'weight management, food cravings, sleep quality, patience, moods, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.'

Real doctors claim that 'Rushing Woman’s Syndrome' is simply a marketing term, not a medical term. They warned that such simplistic explanations could prevent women with actual clinical mood and depression disorders from getting the medical or psychological help they need.

Other critics have characterized 'Rushing Woman’s Syndrome' as a gimmick designed to help Weaver sell health products, as her company, Dr. Libby Ltd., sells books, consultations, courses, health retreats, CDs and DVDs. Curry is also promoting her own weight-loss program and naturopathic hormone treatments, which she says helped her overcome her symptoms.

O dear, that sounds very much like quackery, if you should ask me. But you shouldn't ask me, but finally rely on your own judgement. You might well reach the same conclusion.

Fungus-related Sick Building Syndrome

Remember the days that people in Victorian England suffered and frequently died from toxins in wallpapers. These wallpapers contained copious amounts of toxic arsenic. Copper arsenite created a vivid green pigment.

Nowadays the situation is very different and …
No, the situaton hasn't changed so very much because scientist have found that toxins produced by three different species of fungus growing indoors on wallpaper may become aerosolized, and easily inhaled. The findings, which likely have implications for Sick Building Syndrome, were recently published[1].

The researchers demonstrated that mycotoxins could be transferred from a moldy material to air, under conditions that may be encountered in buildings. Part of the toxic load was found on very small particles — dust or tiny fragments of wallpaper, that could be easily inhaled. Thus, mycotoxins can be easily inhaled and should be investigated as parameters of indoor air quality, especially in homes with visible fungal contamination.

The research was done with three fungal species: Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys chartarum. These species, long studied as sources of food contaminants, also are frequent indoor contaminants.

Increasingly energy efficient homes may aggravate the problem of mycotoxins indoors. Such homes are strongly isolated from the outside to save energy, but various water-using appliances such as coffee makers could lead to favorable conditions for fungal growth and might be the cause of several respiratory illnesses.

[1] Aleksic et al: Aerosolization of mycotoxins after growth of toxinogenic fungi on wallpaper in Applied and Environmental Microbiology – 2017

Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome

Who's to blame for bullying, some people ask? Is it the bully who preys on the weak and vulnerable? It is the victim who isn't assertive enough? Are the parents to blame who do not teach their children to be kind? Or are the teachers or managers at fault because it is easier not wanting to see bullying, because taking action is so much trouble?
Much research has been devoted to try to understand what the factors are that drives people to bully. Bullies mostly come from dysfunctional families, where there is little affection and openness. Bullies need to be in control, are impulsive and cannot regulate their emotions. Bullying behavior gets rewarded with cheap laughs, by negative attention or the power of having others afraid of them. Bullies don’t care how others feel and lack empathy. Highly narcissistic boys were more likely than their peers to show elevated levels of direct bullying[1]. But, above all, deep down bullies have a inferiority complex.

In other words: bullies having serious psychological problems and are in desperate need of some professional treatment.

The problem is that most bullies aren't treated or punished for their actions. Parents, teachers and managers do not recognise (or don't want to recognise) the signals. Bullying leads to festering situations where people frequently report sick with vague complaints.

A new book by Ellen Walser DeLara, 'Bullying Scars', finds that victims of bullying often show signs and signals that mimic those of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). To differentiate between both, DeLara coined the term Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome (APBS).

While Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome can share some symptoms with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, there are distinct differences. One is that there can be both negative and positive aspects to Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome, whereas there are no positive aspects associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The negative symptoms of Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome can mimic those of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome or the effects seen from child abuse. These effects, both in Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome and in Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, are lasting into adulthood and can include shame, anxiety and relational difficulties.

[1] Reijntjes et al: Narcissism, Bullying, and Social Dominance in Youth: A Longitudinal Analysis in Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology - 2016. See here.

New World Syndrome

The New World Syndrome is a misnomer and should have been called Western Diet Syndrome. The New World Syndrome is linked to a change from a traditional diet and exercise to a Western diet (i.e. junk food) and a sedentary lifestyle.
The traditional occupations of indigenous people – such as fishing, farming and hunting – tended to involve constant activity, whereas modern office jobs do not. The introduction of modern transportation such as automobiles also decreased physical exertion.

Meanwhile, cheap Western foods which are rich in fat, salt, sugar, and refined starches are also imported into countries. The amount of carbohydrates in diets increases[1]

The results of the introduction of these Western diets and lack of exercise are devastating. This syndrome is especially common in the indigenous peoples of the 'New World' (i.e. of the Americas). Imported American foodstuffs and carbonated soft drinks are cheaper than their traditional foods. Other examples of this syndrome are the inhabitants of several island states in the Pacific[2] and the Australian aboriginals[3].

The New World Syndrome is characterized by obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and a shortened life span.

[1] Bradshaw et al: Emergence of diabetes mellitus in a Mexican-origin population: a multiple cause-of-death analysis in Social Biology – 1995
[2] Ellen Ruppel Shell: New world Syndrome in The Atlantic – 2001. See here.
[3] Gracey: New World syndrome in Western Australian aborigines in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology – 1995

Hard Water Syndrome

In contrast to 'soft water', hard water is water that has a high mineral content, with minerals such as iron, copper calcium and magnesium. Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.
The World Health Organization (WHO) actually says that "there does not appear to be any convincing evidence that water hardness causes adverse health effects in humans"[1]. In fact, studies indicate that hard water actually serves as a dietary supplement for copper, calcium and magnesium[2][3]. Hard water consumption even seems to be protective against Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)[4].

So, hard water is essentially healthy, but this all changes dramatically it is used during haemodialysis, the process of purifying the blood of a patient whose kidneys are not working normally. During this process, water is used to remove waste products, such as creatinine and urea, and free water from the blood.

If the water, used to flush the blood, contains high levels of iron, calcium and magnesium it can result in post-dialysis nausea, vomiting, weakness (asthenia), and/or hypertension[5]. This is the Hard Water Syndrome.

[1] Hardness in Drinking-water Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality – 2003. See here.
[2] Klevay: The influence of copper and zinc on the occurrence of ischemic heart disease in Journal of Environmental Pathology and Toxicology – 1980
[3] Sengupta: Potential health impacts of hard water in International Journal of Preventative Medicine – 2013
[4] Gianfredi et al: Cardiovascular diseases and hard drinking waters: implications from a systematic review with meta-analysis of case-control studies in Journal of Water and Health – 2017
[5] Freeman, Lawton: The Hard Water Syndrome in New England Journal of Medicine – 1967

De Quervain Syndrome

A syndrome you know it would surface: a repetitive strain injury resulting from too much messaging (or texting) on your smartphone. De Quervain Syndrome is named after the Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain (1868-1940).

But this syndrome has a long history, because repetitive actions were once mostly work related. Think of wrist bending and movements associated with the twisting or driving of screws. Workers who perform rapid repetitive activities involving pinching, grasping, pulling or pushing have been considered at increased risk[1].
Nowadays, some specific activities that have been postulated as potential risk factors include intensive computer mouse use and typing, as well as some pastimes, including bowling, golf and fly-fishing, piano-playing, and sewing and knitting.

That's why De Quervain Syndrome has a host of other names, such as BlackBerry thumb, texting thumb, gamer's thumb, washerwoman's sprain, radial styloid tenosynovitis, mother's wrist or mommy thumb.

De Quervain Syndrome is a tenosynovitis (inflammation) of the sheath or tunnel that surrounds two tendons that control movement of the thumb. Symptoms are pain at the radial side of the wrist, spasms, tenderness, occasional burning sensation in the hand, and swelling over the thumb side of the wrist, and difficulty gripping with the affected side of the hand. The onset is often gradual. Pain is made worse by movement of the thumb and wrist, and may radiate to the thumb or the forearm.

While treatment often includes of corticosteroid injections, research seems to indicate that such treatment may worsen the long-term outcome[2].

[1] Ilyas et al: De Quervain tenosynovitis of the wrist in Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons – 2007
[2] Freire, Bureau: Injectable Corticosteroids: Take Precautions and Use Caution in Seminars in Muskuloskeletal Radiology - 2016

Postpartum Blues Syndrome

Postpartum Blues Syndrome is a transient mild depression occurring post partum is so ubiquitous and ostensibly benign that it has not often been deemed worthy of serious study[1].

Consequently, considerable uncertainty exists about the basic characteristics and significance of this syndrome. In females, the study of stress in the life cycle demands attention to endocrine-behavioral interaction, since some of the times of greatest life stress (ie, menarche, pregnancy, and menopause) occur simultaneously with marked fluctuations in hormonal levels.
Although it is associated with a critical phase in the life cycle, the dysphoria curiously occurs after delivery at a time when one would expect women to feel joyous. In fact, this period is occasionally the moment of onset of a major emotional upheaval—the postpartum psychosis.

References to this mild postpartum dysphorias first appeared in the medical literature in the late 19th century. The term 'milk fever' was used in 1875, since the dysphoria appeared to coincide with the onset of lactation. Another synonym, 'third day blues', was employed for similar reasons.

Symptoms include crying, insomnia, restlessness and confusion were observed in a large proportion of women post partum.

Postpartum Blues Syndrome is nót a Postnatal Depression, otherwise known as Postpartum Depression (PPD).

[1] Yalom et al: 'Postpartum blues' Syndrome in Archives of General Psychology - 1968

Walking Deficiency Syndrome

According to the WHO, the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes[1].

The term 'type 2 diabetes' gives everyone the impression that the problem is a disease, but some beg to differ.
According to Sir Muir Gray, one of Britain's leading medical practitioners, type 2 diabetes should be renamed 'walking deficiency syndrome' because he thinks it's not a 'real disease'[2].

Sir Muir Gray has done extensive research on how modern lifestyles such as sitting at a desk or in a car are contributing to the risk of disease. He claims that type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable, but costs the NHS billions of pounds a year to treat, should be renamed because it is caused by the 'modern environment'.

Sir Muir Gray said: 'I wrote about this and somebody wrote back and said it was called a 'metabolic syndrome'. I said I don't believe in metabolic syndromes. The problem with calling it type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome makes you think it's like rheumatoid arthritis or a real disease. These are conditions caused by the modern environment.'

Nearly 4 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes and approximately 90 per cent of these are type 2 diabetes sufferers. By contrast, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and often emerges in childhood.

The chances of developing type 2 diabetes are greatly exacerbated by being overweight and many sufferers are able to reverse the condition by dieting alone.

[1] World Health Organization: Global report on diabetes – 2016
[2] Type 2 diabetes? It's 'walking deficiency syndrome' and not a real illness, says top doctor in Daily Mail – 2017

Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome

Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome is also known as sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS), sudden adult death syndrome or sudden unexpected/unexplained death syndrome (SUDS. Like the name implies, it is a sudden unexpected death of adolescents and young adults, mainly during their sleep.

This syndrome is rare in most areas around the world, but it seems to mainly target Southeast Asians. It seems to occur mainly in populations that are culturally and genetically distinct and people who leave the population carry with them the vulnerability to sudden death during sleep.
Sudden unexplained death syndrome was first noted in 1977 among southeast Asian Hmong refugees in the US[1]. The disease was again noted in Singapore, when a retrospective survey of records showed that 230 otherwise healthy Thai men died suddenly of unexplained causes between 1982 and 1990. Nepalese men, working in Saudi Arabia or Malaysia also came 'home in caskets'[2].

A Tokyo Medical Examiner reported that every year several hundred evidently healthy men are found dead in their beds in the Tokyo District alone. These observations indicate that the recent sudden deaths of Southeast Asian refugees are not a new occurrence, but rather an ongoing pattern of sudden deaths that appears in Southeast Asia.

Although there has been a significant amount of research on this topic, scientists have not been able to determine the exact cause. One possible cause, however, is Brugada Syndrome, a genetic disease that is characterised by abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) findings[3]. It has been implicated as a major cause of Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome.

My own hypothesis is that these young males died of a broken heart as a result of continued stress because of prolonged homesickness.

[1] Munger: Sudden death in sleep of Laotian-Hmong refugees in Thailand: a case-control study in American Journal of Public Health - 1987
[2] Hisdustan Times: 21dec17. See here
[3] Gourrault et al: Brugada syndrome: Diagnosis, risk stratification and management in Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases - 2017