pass me my bonnet

several of our patients have problems with their eyes – cataracts, glaucoma, deteriorating vision and macular degeneration are just some of the conditions that become more common with age.

a lesser known disease is Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is a term used to describe the situation when people with sight problems start to see things that they know aren’t real. When people lose their sight, their brains are not receiving as many pictures as they used to, and sometimes new fantasy pictures or old pictures stored in our brains are released and experienced as though they were seen. These experiences seem to happen when people are sitting alone somewhere quiet that is familiar to them or when they are in bed at night.

The hallucinations commonly involve detailed images of people, buildings or simple patterns of straight lines. This experience can be pleasant but can sometimes cause distress. People who have Charles Bonnet Syndrome are aware that these images are not real.

Images of people are a common occurence. phantom people normally wear pleasant expressions as they loiter in eerie silence. curiously, a great number of these imaginary characters are described as wearing elaborate costumes……

somehow I don’t think they’re as elaborate as these……


Published in: on September 2, 2008 at 8:51 am  Comments (21)  

penis panic

Koro is a syndrome where a man believes his penis is disappearing into his body. it appears to be a culturally related belief as most reported cases happen in China, India, Thailand and more recently, Nigeria.

Minor Koro epidemics have seized localised parts of Asia at various times, including a well documented 1967 outbreak in Singapore. As the panic spread hospitals became inundated with people worried that their penises were shrinking into their body. Many had resorted to pegs, clamps and even a constant firm grip from concerned family members attempting to prevent the member from vanishing entirely.

A recent study reported on three cases of Koro in American males who all formed penis retraction beliefs after smoking Cannabis. In these cases the researchers suggested that Koro was brought on by a combination of pre-existing worries over penis shape, anxiety and bad reaction to situational cannabis use.

in almost all situations this belief is mistaken though there has been one documented case where what was presumed to be a delusion turned out to be true. A plethysmograph was used to measure changes in penile circumference while the patient imagined shrinkage conditions, sexually arousing images and neutral stimuli… whilst describing an occasion when he was bicycling in cold weather and had felt his penis was shrinking, the plethysmograph recording showed fluctuations in penile circumference below the baseline. It is believed his obsessional self scrutiny caused overreactions to normal changes in penis size.

one of the treatments for koro is the recommendation that fellatio be practiced immediately which would help avoid perceived retraction of the penis. Other suggestions involve applying a firm grip, using special clips or tying a ribbon around the penis. Folk medicine techniques include using lime on the earlobes, wrapping the man’s big toes in black arum or pouring a bucket of cold water over his head. I know which treatment most of my male readers would prefer…..

Published in: on September 1, 2008 at 8:30 am  Comments (26)