Seeing People with Dragon Faces – A Medical Condition?

Seeing People with Dragon Faces - A Medical Condition?

By Kyle Hill | Nerdist Seeing People with Dragon Faces

Prosopometamorphopsia - The Mysterious Medical Condition That Gives People Dragon Faces

There a few ways we know a person can develop prosopometamorphopsia – a visual distortion of people’s faces or specific parts of their faces. LSD and other hallucinogens can induce it, as can strokes and tumors which affect certain areas of the brain. But the distortions are rarely so specific as the woman who saw dragon faces everywhere, and watched as people’s faces morphed into Smaug. As neuroscientist and science writer Neuroskeptic reports in Discover Magazine, scientists have recently published in The Lancet the case of a 52-year-old whose brain called down dragon faces. From the study: In July, 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented to our psychiatric outpatient clinic in The Hague with a life-long history of seeing people’s faces change into dragon-like faces and hallucinating similar faces many times a day. She could perceive and recognize actual faces, but after several minutes they turned black, grew long, pointy ears and a protruding snout, and displayed a reptiloid skin and huge eyes in bright yellow, green, blue, or red. And the woman’s condition extended to more than just faces. Dragon-like visages would drift at her from the walls, electric sockets, computer screens, and the dark of night. She was haunted by her own brain. Read more HT: Discover Magazine STUDY: Blom JD, Sommer IE, Koops S, & Sacks OW (2014). Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations. Lancet, 384 (9958) PMID: 25435453

Video: In Mysterious Medical Case, Woman Saw Dragon-Like Faces

A few weeks ago, an unusual medical case was documented in ‘The Lancet.’ The researchers noted that the female patient arrived at a psychiatric outpatient clinic complaining about seeing individuals' facial features morphing into dragon-like faces. Recently, an unusual medical case was documented in ‘The Lancet.’ The researchers noted that the female patient arrived at a psychiatric outpatient clinic in the Netherlands complaining about seeing individuals' facial features morphing into dragon-like faces. She also claimed to experience hallucinations throughout the day, when she would see similar faces. It could happen at any time and place. She reported seeing the dragon-like images drifting at her from the walls or even the computer screen and electrical outlets. The woman would also witness the seemingly bizarre faces in the dark. The researchers further explained “She could perceive and recognise actual faces, but after several minutes they turned black, grew long, pointy ears and a protruding snout, and displayed a reptiloid skin and huge eyes in bright yellow, green, blue, or red.” The issue was something the 52 year old patient had lived with her whole life. The cause of the hallucinations has not yet been determined. An EEG, neurological examination and blood tests all came back normal. An MRI scan did show white-matter abnormalities, however there were only a few of them. Although the case is mysterious, the end result is a happy one. The woman was given anti-dementia medication, which for the most part, stopped the dragon visions, and allowed her to hold onto a job for several years.

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