August 19, 2010

ABC: Boy With Ondine's Curse Must Think to Breathe

ABC news carried a story about a young boy named Liam Derbyshire who has an extremely rare sleeping disorder called Ondine's Curse. The medical name is Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS).

As those familiar with folklore know, Ondine's curse is after a mortal who fell in love with a German nymph. He swears that his daily breath is a testimony to her love. But when the man is unfaithful, the king punishes him by making him remember all his bodily functions INCLUDING breathing. When the mortal falls asleep he forgets to breathe and dies.

In this real story, the boy most consciously remember to breath ever breath in and out. If he forgets to do so, he literally stops breathing.

For those scientists, this disorder is due to a mutation in the PHOX2B gene.

Read the ABC story here.
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Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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