A LOOK AT AMAZING MEDICAL MYSTERIES,
ON "20/20," FRIDAY, MAY 18 ON ABC
"20/20" takes viewers into the lives of people with some of medicine's most rare conditions. Anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and featuring reports from Vargas, Deborah Roberts, John Berman and Jay Schadler, "20/20" airs FRIDAY, MAY 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. Reports include:
· Elizabeth Vargas reports on Taylor, a 14-year-old who has attempted suicide twice due to misophonia - a hatred of sounds, not loud or harsh sounds, but subtle, everyday and unavoidable sounds like chewing, swallowing, sniffling, talking and even breathing. Taylor's biggest trigger is her own mother. Is there a cure?
Vargas also talks to television personality Kelly Ripa who believes she might have misophonia. Ripa says she remembers when, as a young girl, family dinners with her parents became impossible to endure. Even today she has to tell her own children to eat quietly.
· It is a disturbing and potentially fatal eating disorder that affects more than 10% of American children. It's called PICA, a condition where kids crave inedible objects, like cardboard and glass. But what happens when that child becomes an adult and those cravings only get stronger and the object more bizarre? John Berman introduces viewers to a 41-year-old woman who says she has PICA and eats rocks as her personal comfort food.
· For every parent it is the most treasured and joyous sound� their child's laughter. But for a rare number of children, laughter can signal a potentially devastating, even fatal future. They are called gelastic seizures, a spontaneous, uncontrollable and often maniacal giggle or laugh. The cause: a rare form of epilepsy, Hypothalamic Hamartoma (HH), in which a non-cancerous tumor or lesion wreaks havoc in a highly sensitive area near the brain's stem. "20/20" follows two young boys, Mateo Rocha from Toronto and Keagan Dysart from San Antonio, to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston where doctors literally journey to the center of their brains in a new, high-risk experimental surgery to make the laughter stop. Deborah Roberts reports.
VIDEO PREVIEW: Boy's Giggles Were Dangerous Seizures
· Elaina Powell is a 16-year-old who has suffered with the debilitating and bewildering effects of a parasitic bacterial infection that manifests in bizarre ways -- including spells where she speaks with a foreign accent, can't walk and has mysterious seizures with Tourette-like outbursts. After visiting multiple doctors Elaina's official diagnosis is chronic Lyme disease and Bartonella, but even her specialist agrees her symptoms are unprecedented. Years of aggressive drug treatment, that at one time included up to 60 pills a day, have provided sporadic relief, and her doctors have been criticized for treating an illness the very authenticity of which many question. Strange affliction or teenage hysteria?? Jay Schadler reports.
David Sloan is executive producer of "20/20".