Have you heard of Fatal Familial Insomnia?

Fatal familial insomnia is not like regular insomnia, where one has difficulty falling asleep: this is a condition that renders the sufferer physically incapable of falling asleep. Sleep deprivation for any length of time can cause symptoms, ranging from irritability to hallucinations. The longer the body goes without sleep, the worse the symptoms become: in the case of FFI, this can result in rapid weight loss, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, loss of muscle control, dementia, and eventually, death within approximately 70 months.
Isn't that absolutely terrifying!


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  • Actually yea I saw it on 1000 ways to die and googles it. That scares the shit out of me

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What Girls Said 9

  • That is pretty interesting. I've never even heard of something like that. But I wouldn't be surprised since they have a condition for nearly everything. Are there any known people who have such conditions? Either way, that is very scary. Yet I wonder how did they come to a concluding that death happens withing that time frame.

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    • 22d

      Because their have only been a handful of cases,

    • 22d

      @Waffles731

      So it other words it's a rare condition?

    • 22d

      thats an extreme understatement but yeah
      The mutated protein, called PrPSc, has been found in just 40 families worldwide, affecting about 100 people; if only one parent has the gene, the offspring have a 50% risk of inheriting it and developing the disease. With onset usually around middle age, it is essential that a potential patient be tested if they wish to avoid passing FFI on to their children. The first recorded case was an Italian man, who died in Venice in 1765

  • I have never heard of this before. But it sounds so terrifying! :(

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  • No I've never heard of it

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  • Tbh I find the fact that it actually takes you 70 months without any sleep to die far more terrifying than the fact that it leads to death in the first place.
    Isn't your body supposed to die after only about 1-2 weeks of complete sleep deprivation?

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    • 22d

      The person has increasing insomnia, resulting in panic attacks, paranoia, and phobias. This stage lasts for about four months.
      Hallucinations and panic attacks become noticeable, continuing for about five months.
      Complete inability to sleep is followed by rapid loss of weight. This lasts for about three months.
      Dementia, during which the patient becomes unresponsive or mute over the course of six months. This is the final progression of the disease, after which death follows.
      Apparently it takes much longer

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    • 21d

      The thing about sleep is, your body is incapable of functioning without it for obvious reasons and the brain needs it because the body needs it as the brain needs the body.

    • 21d

      fair enough

  • Wonder if I had/have something similar. I used to be that bad of an insomniac and now I'm medicated still get the odd day like that.

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  • Nope.

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  • That sounds terrifying.

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  • Didn't someone make a movie about this.

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  • Never heard of it, but glad to be informed

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What Guys Said 6

  • So in theory you could go 70 months without sleep before it's fatal? That's insane !! I thought humans needed sleep more than that but I guess not. 70 months without sleep that's crazy. I heard about how the U. S. tortured a guy and kept him awake for 370 hours or so I thought I that was already crazy and I wondered if I'd survive that (also I'm very heavily against torture) but this is even worse. The longest I've been up was 48 hours and it was not because I wanted to. It was no fun at all and I was not in a productive or healthy state. I slept 12 hours straight really deep sleep after that and I only woke up because I had to :P.

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  • i haven't heard of that specific illness or syndrome but i definitely know about the serious health consequences of long term sleep deprivation

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  • I find it weird that people have tracked it for 6 years...

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  • I haven't heard of it and I don't know if it's terrifying but it sounds like going months without sleep before you die would be pretty miserable. :(

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  • How is it acquired?

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  • Yeah I think its like when you sleep and your brain doesn't know how to breath.

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