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View Full Version : Medical Advice Needed, Specifically Brain Specialists, please?



DavidBrett
02-10-2012, 03:18 AM
Hello,

This might sound weird, but I need to know if there's any kind of disease/disorder that would give children with genius-level intellect seizures, migraines, etc?

If that made no sense I'm asking if there's any such condition commonly shared by smart people?

If THAT didn't make sense, then I just don't know how else to word it... But I hope someone can help!

Thanks,

Dave

DavidBrett
02-10-2012, 03:29 AM
Before anyone says "Google it" I already have, and all Google is throwing out is epilepsy.

I COULD go with this, but I'd rather not go with the obvious.

Dave

Drachen Jager
02-10-2012, 04:34 AM
There's no disease that's more common among smart people.

Actually in most cases it's the opposite. Smart people tend to be more fit, eat healthier etc. so they tend to be healthier than their low IQ counterparts.

Best you can do is find something that's somewhat common across the population, or Dr. House it and make something up that bears some relationship with the truth.

Or just make something up.

bellabar
02-10-2012, 04:45 AM
I was curious so I did a bit of googling myself and came up with this page.

http://www.reactivehypoglycemia.info/articles/reactive-hypoglycemia-in-highly-gifted-children/

Maybe you need something extraordinarily rare, but if you don't, it is probably better to go with something more common like epilepsy that you will likely be able to find much more information on.
There's a saying in medicine "If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras."

debirlfan
02-10-2012, 11:21 AM
If you're trying to tie this to IQ... maybe something like severe headaches from reading/working on the computer too much? Especially if the kid is trying not to look nerdy and isn't wearing his glasses?

amlptj
02-10-2012, 11:31 AM
There is no medical conditions associated with those of High IQ. And epilepsy can not cause high IQ.

I've heard of a few strange cases in which children with genius level IQ's are more prone to migraines due to a need for classes and because of "over working" there brains too much. But besides that nothing truly medical based.

areteus
02-10-2012, 01:26 PM
You may be thinking of numerous stories about people with brain tumours having higher IQ which I think are entirely fictional. The brain is a very complex organ with lots of functions (most of them not linked to intelligence at all) and we actually understand very little of how it works. Usually disease lets us work out something about how the brain works because, when that bit is damaged the person can't do something (the example often cited being the emotional and personality changes in Phineas Gage or the effect of tumour on Broca's area or the effect of severing the hemispheres on perception - a treatment that used to be used for epilepsy and it causes some weird effects). Therefore, brain damage of any form usually has bad effects rather than good.

I would also be careful of citing IQ as a measure of intelligence. It isn't, it measures spatial and numeric reasoning (which is part of intelligence but not all of it) and it is most commonly considered among modern psychologists that 'intelligence' is a more complex and multi-factorial factor than a mere numerical scale of problem solving ability can represent*. Have a look at concepts of multiple intelligence theory which includes aspects such as social intelligence, emotional intelligence, linguistic etc. Not sure if this is confirmed by any studies, but I am fairly sure from observation of 'intelligent' people that sometimes having too much of one aspect of intelligence can lead to a deficiency in the others (hence the stereotype of the antisocial geek or the stories you hear about Einstein having real problems relating to other people). Not sure this is necessarily related to a genetic cause, however. More likely it is that someone with a talent in one area can neglect the others in their education and training to focus on developing the one thing they are good at.


*Psychologists are still baffled as to why many people still place so much on IQ as a measure of intelligence, especially companies looking to use them in their hiring process...

amlptj
02-10-2012, 01:29 PM
As someone who recently had to take an IQ test over the summer (to be diagnosed with learning disorders) I will agree the IQ number isnt all its cracked up to be. For example in my case they cant even determine my IQ accurately, because of the learning disorders i have. And ironically many geniuses have learning disorders.

GeorgeK
02-10-2012, 02:23 PM
You could have your geniuses get migraines everytime they talk to the norms.

Buffysquirrel
02-10-2012, 02:56 PM
You could have a gene that codes for high intelligence linked to a gene that causes some kind of debilitating condition. The benefits of the high intelligence would ensure the gene continued to be passed on despite the detriments. Bit of handwavium required, however.

amlptj
02-10-2012, 03:04 PM
interesting article (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317142841.htm) i found that might help you

DavidBrett
02-10-2012, 04:12 PM
Thanks for all the help guys - just to put it in context; my MC believes he was abducted by aliens, and that they implanted a chip in his brain that gave him photographic/idetic memory and random bursts of Sherlock-level genius and deduction. Only these very same bursts come coupled with the violent seizures I'm trying to have his parents claim to be whatever condition works best...

.. If that made any sense?

Dave

Buffysquirrel
02-10-2012, 04:23 PM
Then epilepsy would probably work well enough for your purposes. It's a condition that a lot of people have heard of, but which there's a high level of ignorance about. If the parents say it's epilepsy, then the average person would probably accept that.

shaldna
02-10-2012, 05:41 PM
Thanks for all the help guys - just to put it in context; my MC believes he was abducted by aliens, and that they implanted a chip in his brain that gave him photographic/idetic memory and random bursts of Sherlock-level genius and deduction. Only these very same bursts come coupled with the violent seizures I'm trying to have his parents claim to be whatever condition works best...

.. If that made any sense?

Dave

To put it into context, I have a near genius level IQ and I also have crippling ice pick headaches and have to have a nerve block in the base of my neck every couple of months to essentially numb my brain.

BUT the headaches are not caused by my IQ, nor is my IQ caused by the headaches.

In terms of the senario you mentioned above, you could possibly get away with making something up or just not naming it at all.

crunchyblanket
02-10-2012, 05:58 PM
As far as I know, intellect is not linked in any way to any kind of neurological disorder. For sheer interesting-ness alone, I nominate cluster headaches (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_headache) and trigeminal neuralgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigeminal_neuralgia) for your consideration.

areteus
02-10-2012, 09:07 PM
What would work best is epilepsy in this context... the other option is to have it described as a 'unidentifiable neurological pathology' which is medicalese for 'we have no idea what is going on in your brain but it looks damned interesting, mind if we poke around a bit and publish some papers?'

Buffysquirrel
02-10-2012, 09:18 PM
Oh, they call that idiopathic, I think.

boron
02-10-2012, 10:04 PM
Dostoevsky (http://www.charge.org.uk/htmlsite/dost.shtml) had ecstatic epilepsy. He described his experience (insights, sudden understanding...) through some characters in his books.

There's one real condition called synesthesia (http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/syne.html), in which one type of sensory stimuli triggers normal and additional sensations, for example, a light appears and someone can see and hear (actually) it.

backslashbaby
02-10-2012, 10:31 PM
I do think there are some sex-linked chromosomal disorders, at least, that are associated with higher or lower IQ's, but your character probably won't have those. The studies may have been limited, too, because the populations tended to be segregated from the general population in a way that could affect IQ.

The high or low IQ didn't cause the conditions, obviously :D

Old Hack
02-10-2012, 10:47 PM
Dostoevsky (http://www.charge.org.uk/htmlsite/dost.shtml) had ecstatic epilepsy. He described his experience (insights, sudden understanding...) through some characters in his books.

There's one real condition called synesthesia (http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/syne.html), in which one type of sensory stimuli triggers normal and additional sensations, for example, a light appears and someone can see and hear (actually) it.

Synaesthesia isn't associated with high IQs, and it isn't an illness either. I don't find mine at all disabling. In fact it's rather lovely.

boron
02-11-2012, 11:39 AM
I was thinking about synesthesia like some sort of capability others don't have.