Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 023

Yay…it’s Friday.
Time to challenge that cerebral cortex and put on those ‘mental’ dancing shoes as we trip the light fantastic of medical trivia, and lift the latch on the cage of the tiger of tease…the Funtabulously, Frivolous Friday Five…

Question 1

  • What is the cause of Marchiafava-Bignami syndrome?

  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Marchiafava-Bignami is associated with primary degeneration of the corpus callosum (although other white matter tracts may also be involved)
  • First described in 1903 by two Italian pathologists – Amico Bignami and Ettore Marchiafava. They found necrosis of the corpus callosum on autopsy in 3 alcoholic men that had recently died from seizures. Initially thought to be caused by excess red wine consumption, now known to be related to vitamin B deficiency, generally seen in alcoholics.

Question 2

  • What is the difference between kuru, kuro, koru and koro?

  • Kuro (黒) (or Kuroi) is a Japanese word for the color “black”
  • Kuru is a irreversible neurological degenerative disorder spread by cannibalism
  • Koru is a spiral shape (Maori) based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace.
  • Koro is oriental fear of death caused by the penis disappearing into the body!
koru kuro

Question 3

  • What is the principle poison associated with itai-itai disease?

  • Cadmium
  • Itai-itai is Japanese for ‘ouch-ouch’. The original victims were exposed to environmental cadmium from the local mining industry [Reference].
  • The disease was first described in Japan in the 1940s as a painful and debilitating skeleteal disorder characterised by a waddling gait resulting from multiple fractures, anemia and renal failure.
  • It predominantly affected post-menopausal women, and is thought result from chronic cadmium poisoning in the context of estrogen deficiency and poor nutritional status.

Question 4

  • Is it rude to pandiculate in front of your consultant??

  • Yes!
  • Pandiculation is the act of stretching and yawning simultaneously

Self-portrait of Joseph Ducreux Paniculating

Question 5

  • What was Sir Winston Churchill’s “Black Dog“?

  • Depression
  • Churchill made frequent references to his depression, which he called his “black dog” [Reference]

“I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Churchill in a StraitJacket

…and remember kids

cynicism beats criticism every day of the week…

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