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Medical Mysteries

Medical Mysteries

We trust doctors with our lives; they are some of the most educated and well-respected members of society. But what happens if they can't diagnose a patient? This high stake medical procedural follows patients as they suffer from bizarre, often terrifying illnesses. None of which doctors learned about in medical school. Medical Mysteries is a Parcast Original, with new episodes every Tuesday.

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Episodes

The Sodder Family Tragedy: 75 Years Later (Pt. 3)

For decades, family members and sleuths have tried to determine what really happened the night of the fire. As of yet, they have been unsuccessful. But the clues remain, the questions linger, and the case unofficially stays open?  This episode is presented by Unexplained Mysteries, a Spotify Original from Parcast. For more of history?s greatest puzzles, follow Unexplained Mysteries free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
2020-12-21
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The Sodder Family Tragedy: 75 Years Later (Pt. 2)

In the aftermath of the fire, a startling number of tips, twists, and witnesses came forward regarding the fate of the Sodder children. Their father, George, followed the clues for decades, driven by a suspicion of the ?official? story and a belief that the blaze was no accident. This episode is presented by Unexplained Mysteries, a Spotify Original from Parcast. For more of history?s greatest puzzles, follow Unexplained Mysteries free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 
2020-12-21
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The Sodder Family Tragedy: 75 Years Later (Pt. 1)

Early Christmas day in 1945, Jennie Sodder woke up to her house on fire. The blaze consumed her home, and five of her young children. Or did it? Strange events, prescient remarks, and a lack of human remains hinted at more nefarious ? though no less tragic ? outcomes.  This episode is presented by Unexplained Mysteries, a Spotify Original from Parcast. For more of history?s greatest puzzles, follow Unexplained Mysteries free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
2020-12-21
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Mary Toft

In 18th century England, Mary Toft defied all medical odds when she started giving birth to rabbits. 
2020-12-15
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The Bubonic Plague Pt. 2

When the plague broke out again in the late 19th century, scientists dissected buboes, bodies, and fleas? and found the source of the Black Death. The disease had already killed millions throughout Europe and Asia. In 1900, it reached San Francisco.
2020-12-08
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The Bubonic Plague Pt. 1

It was one of the most lethal pandemics in global history. The bubonic plague?s devastating spread in 6th and 14th century Europe paved the way for how we handle outbreaks today ? though patients in medieval times saw no sign of a cure. 
2020-12-01
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Cults Crossover: John Alexander Dowie Pt. 2

Today we?re bringing you a special two-part episode from another Spotify Original from Parcast. If you enjoy it, check out Cults on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!  John Alexander Dowie was a discontented minister who rose to become a leading figure in Australia?s faith healer movement. The ambitious preacher railed against modern medicine, maintaining that prayer was the only cure for illness. 
2020-11-24
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Cults Crossover: John Alexander Dowie Pt. 1

Today we?re bringing you a special two-part episode from another Spotify Original from Parcast. If you enjoy it, check out Cults on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!  John Alexander Dowie was a discontented minister who rose to become a leading figure in Australia?s faith healer movement. The ambitious preacher railed against modern medicine, maintaining that prayer was the only cure for illness. 
2020-11-24
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Brain-Eating Amoeba

In July 2013, a 12-year-old girl from Arkansas was diagnosed with a rare and deadly brain-eating amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri. Her exposure came from a local water park, but brain-eating amoebas are lurking everywhere ? including our own faucets.
2020-11-17
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Aging Syndrome

Progeria is a rare disorder that causes children's bodies to age and deteriorate quickly. Those with the condition have a life expectancy of 13 years. We follow the journey of one patient, Hayley Okines, who dedicated her short life to helping others battle the disease.
2020-11-10
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Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

For these patients, rooms shrink, bodies grow disproportionately large, and objects appear farther than they are. Many believe author Lewis Carroll had this condition, and that it inspired the classic tale for which the syndrome was named. 
2020-11-03
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Ergotism and the Salem Witch Trials Pt. 2

Modern day researchers are still trying to explain what happened in 17th century Salem. Many have blamed the event on mass hysteria, but one doctor points to an outbreak of a fungus called ergot ? the same organism used to create LSD.
2020-10-27
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Ergotism and the Salem Witch Trials Pt. 1

In 17th century Massachusetts, three young girls experienced strange symptoms ?? prickling of the skin, convulsions and trance-like states. Before long, dozens were complaining of the same ailments, and accusations of witchcraft started to emerge.
2020-10-20
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Cotard Syndrome: Real-Life Zombies

This psychological condition, also known as "Walking Corpse Syndrome" causes people to suffer from disturbing delusions. Many feel that their bodies are void of blood or organs, while other patients are convinced they're dead and stuck in the world of the living.
2020-10-13
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Cutaneous Horns

The earliest description comes from a 16th century British pamphlet, featuring a Welsh widow with a four-inch-long growth protruding out of her forehead. Cutaneous horns were originally regarded as divine punishment, or a spectacle to be paraded around. In more recent decades, doctors have worked to understand the variety of decidedly less supernatural causes. 
2020-10-06
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Anthrax

In the wake of 9/11, one man?s exposure to a rare and deadly illness sparked widespread panic in the U.S. On September 19th, Bob Stevens opened a letter containing a strange white powder. A week later, he was fighting for his life as a victim of a biological weapon. It left many wondering who was responsible? and would they be next? 
2020-09-29
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Lobotomies Pt. 2

With Dr. Walter Freeman?s invention in the 1940s, psychologists could perform a transorbital lobotomy from the comfort of their office? with an ice pick through the eye. 
2020-09-22
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Lobotomies Pt. 1

In the 1940s, Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz received the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking new treatment: the prefrontal lobotomy. His procedure was adopted by hospitals all over the world?but the treatment was controversial, and came to be known as one of medicine?s greatest mistakes. 
2020-09-15
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The Girl Who Didn?t Age

In the early 1990s, Brooke Greenberg was born with a rare condition that kept her from aging. Her condition was accompanied by inexplicable conditions that doctors couldn't connect: seizures, ulcers, tumors? And by her 16th birthday, she was still the size of a toddler. 
2020-09-08
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Alzheimer's Disease Pt. 2

Over 100,000 people die from Alzheimer's Disease in the United States alone. Doctors are feverishly working to try and understand the disease in hopes of finding a cure. But the human brain holds many mysteries, and the results so far haven't been promising.
2020-09-01
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Alzheimer's Disease Pt. 1

In 1901, a 51-year-old woman named Auguste Deter shuffled into a German asylum. She had forgotten nearly everything about her life: where she lived, her husband's name, and how old she was. She was put into the care of revolutionary psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer.
2020-08-25
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Typhus Pt. 2

During WWII, two Polish scientists raced to find a vaccine to end typhus once and for all. In Switzerland, another scientist discovered the pesticidal possibilities of a chemical called DDT.
2020-08-18
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Typhus Pt. 1

In the sixteenth century, sporadic outbreaks of a deadly fever crippled armies and altered the political landscape of Western Europe. Centuries later, a British surgeon reshaped the world?s understanding of how disease spread?and uncovered the key to fighting typhus.
2020-08-11
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Phantom Limb Pain Pt. 2

Today, doctors still work to understand what causes Phantom Limb Pain?and whether it can be cured in all cases. Innovative treatments like Mirror Therapy, and Virtual and Augmented Reality offer insights into how it can be cured. 
2020-08-04
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Phantom Limb Pain Pt. 1

In the mid-1500s, French surgeon Ambroise Paré realized patients who survived an amputation could still feel their missing limbs. Doctors theorized for centuries about the phenomenon, driven by one question: How do you treat a limb that doesn?t exist?
2020-07-28
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Truman Show Syndrome Pt. 2

After studying the "Truman Show Delusion" for years, Doctors Joel and Ian Gold discovered an underlying condition. It's possible that societal fears over progress and technology have a lasting impact on the subconscious?
2020-07-21
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Truman Show Syndrome Pt. 1

In the early 2000s, psychologist Dr. Joel Gold met several patients who believed they were the stars of their own reality shows. They each shared similar delusions of being recorded by hidden cameras, with their friends and family part of the cast and crew, and unseen producers coaxing them toward a grand prize. 
2020-07-14
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Disease Forgery Pt. 2

Growing up in the ?90s, Gypsy Rose was convinced she suffered from cancer and epilepsy. But in truth, her mother Dee Dee was addicted to faking her daughter?s illnesses?a disorder in itself, known today as Munchausen?s by Proxy. 
2020-07-07
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Disease Forgery Pt. 1

In 1991, a 24-year-old woman checked herself into the hospital dozens of times, each with a new and perplexing illness. Her symptoms didn't match anything doctors had seen before. Then they discovered she was suffering from Munchausen's Syndrome?and was addicted to making herself sick.
2020-06-30
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Radium Girls Pt. 2: Radium on Trial

In 1925, five dying US Radium Dial Painters sued their employer. They claimed they were dying of radiation poisoning?but experts at the time believed radium was healthy, not toxic. So the Radium Girls took the stand to try to convince juries?and the world?of radium's dangers.
2020-06-23
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Radium Girls Pt. 1: Women Who Glowed in the Dark

In the 1920s, dial-painters at US Radium's New Jersey factory began getting sick. They were diagnosed with syphilis and phossy jaw, but their symptoms didn't add up. The women suspected something about their job was making them fatally ill?but they were running out of time to solve the mystery.
2020-06-16
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Body Integrity Dysphoria

Our body is the only one we'll ever know, for better or worse. And for those suffering from Body Integrity Dysphoria, they feel like one or more of their limbs doesn't belong. Many of them resort to drastic measures like self-amputation to achieve their ideal body. But researchers are still trying to figure out why.
2020-06-09
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Mental Health Pt. 4: The 21st Century

Today, one in four homeless Americans are living with a mental health condition. Many are unable to turn to shelters out of fear that it will worsen symptoms and the prison system has subsequently taken on the role of asylums. But understanding foreign cultures may hold the key to a cure.
2020-06-02
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Mental Health Pt. 3: The 20th Century

In the late 1800s, Dr. Emil Kraepelin identified schizophrenia as its own mental health condition. But this new revelation also increased the stigma surrounding the disorder. Over the course of the next century, people living with schizophrenia became a target in the eugenics movement, both in America and overseas.
2020-05-26
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Mental Health Pt. 2: 1700s to 1900s

When a young Quaker woman died in an asylum in 1790, William Tuke resolved to found a new facility focused on treatment?not incarceration. But mental health conditions were poorly understood, and many of the early expiramental treatments could be better described as torture.
2020-05-19
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Mental Health Pt. 1: Origins

Socrates was one of the greatest philosophers of all time?and he heard voices. Pheidippides invented the marathon?and experienced hallucinations. Were these symptoms of mental health conditions, or signs of divine intervention? And how could ancient Greek doctors treat their delusional patients?
2020-05-12
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Beating the Odds: Reshma Begum

Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we?re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we?re discussing Reshma Begum, a seamstress in Bangladesh who was pulled out alive from the wreckage of a building?17 days after it collapsed.
2020-05-08
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Beating the Odds: Michael Benson

Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we?re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we?re discussing Michael Benson, a cameraman who survived a helicopter crash, only to find himself stuck inside a volcano?s crater?for two days.
2020-05-07
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Beating the Odds: José Salvador Alvarenga

Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we?re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we?re discussing José Salvador Alvarenga, a Salvadoran fisherman who spent over 13 months adrift at sea?and survived.
2020-05-06
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Lou Gehrig?s Disease (ALS) Pt. 2

In 2014, the ?Ice Bucket Challenge? went viral across the internet. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe participated in videos hoping to help bring an end to ALS. 
2020-05-05
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Beating the Odds: Beck Weathers

Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we?re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we?re discussing Beck Weathers, a Texas pathologist who survived the disastrous 1996 blizzard on Mount Everest...
2020-05-04
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Beating the Odds: Anna Bågenholm

Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we?re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we?re discussing the story of Anna Bågenholm, whose heart stopped in 1999 after she was trapped in a labyrinth of thick ice for nearly an hour and a half?
2020-05-04
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Lou Gehrig?s Disease (ALS) Pt. 1

In 1939, Lou Gehrig would play his last game with the New York Yankees. After more than 2,000 consecutive starts, his physical abilities began to decline. Nearly a century earlier, a doctor in Paris was beginning research on the disease that would one day be synonymous with Gehrig.
2020-04-28
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NEW: Severe Allergic Reactions

We are thrilled to bring you a brand new episode of Medical Mysteries today and for the foreseeable future. We thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. When 10-year-old Morgan Smith was on a Colorado camping trip with his family in 2006, everything was going fine. But when he bit into a piece of fish?everything changed. 
2020-04-21
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Panic Virus Pt. 2

In 2001, disgraced doctor and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield left the UK and re-settled in Austin, Texas. There, he continued spreading dangerous misinformation about the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and its alleged connection to autism. As measles outbreaks swept the country, the medical establishment tried to counter his influence. 
2020-04-14
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Panic Virus Pt. 1

In 1998, British physician Andrew Wakefiled published a paper claiming he had found a direct connection between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine with autism. His dangerous claims caused an entire movement of people who were no longer willing to vaccinate their children out of fear...
2020-04-07
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Gloria Ramirez ?The Toxic Lady?

On February 19th, 1994, a young woman from Riverside, California was rushed to the emergency room after becoming unresponsive in her home. When doctors began operating on her, they noticed something strange: crystals in her blood. Within minutes the medical staff all started to collapse one by one.
2020-03-31
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Parcast Classic: Allergic to Water

Due to the unfortunate spread of COVID-19, Parcast has decided to halt recording for the time-being. This is a precautionary measure taken to ensure the safety of our hosts and staff. In the meantime, we're excited to share one of our classic episodes that we know you'll enjoy! Alexandra Allen?s nightmare first began in 2009 when she was 12-years-old. After swimming in a hotel pool, she nearly went into anaphylactic shock. Following a battery of tests, doctors were shocked by what caused her reaction. The Utah native was allergic to water.
2020-03-24
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The HIV & AIDS Epidemic Pt. 2

In December 1984, Indiana-native Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS at the age of thirteen. The disease had no known treatment, no cure, and Ryan was given six months to live. The clock was ticking, and Ryan soon found himself at the center of a media storm.
2020-03-17
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The HIV & AIDS Epidemic Pt. 1

In 1981, Dr. James Curran at CDC began investigating a mysterious case of an illness that seemed to be affecting gay men across the United States. As more people began to die, the stakes were raised, and Dr. Curran was on a race to see if he could find the cause.
2020-03-10
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