Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ondine's curse

̉Do you know that the voluntary and automatic control of respiration is seprate?

Sometimes the automatic control of respiration is disrupted without loss of voluntary control :O
And this clinical condition is know as Ondine's curse!

Lemme tell you a German legend.. Once upon a time, a water nymph, Ondine, fell in love with a human being (aww!)

Nymphs are immortal and they never age, unless they have a child with a mortal. Ondine gave up her immortality for this guy (Lawrence, his name.)

She starts to age and loses her beauty. Lawrence is no longer in love with her.
Ondine finds out Lawrence cheated on her! She sees him in the arms of another woman! :O (That bastard, I know!)

Just like the women of twenty first century.. Ondine was a vindictive one!

She curses Lawrence saying "You swore faithfulness to me with every waking breath, and I accepted your oath. So be it. As long as you are awake, you shall have your breath, but should you ever fall asleep, then that breath will be taken from you and you will die!"

To make it simple for all my medico friends.. It translates to the curse took away all his automatic functions and in this state, he could stay alive only by staying awake and remembering how to breathe.

To all those who are still wondering how this sad love story ends.. He eventually fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, and his respiration stopped.

Patients with this intriguing condition generally has bulbar poliomyelitis or disease processes that compress the medulla. Or it may be genetic.

Remember: The pathways for voluntary control pass from the neocortex to the motor neurons innervating the respiratory muscles, bypassing the medullary neurons!

That's all about Ondine's curse ^_^
Thank you so much for reading :)



  1. My daughter has Ondine's curse it can have a gentic componate

    PHOX2B it provides instructions for making a protein that acts early in development to help promote the formation of nerve cells (neurons) and regulate the process by which the neurons mature to carry out specific functions (differentiation). The protein is active in the neural crest, which is a group of cells in the early embryo that give rise to many tissues and organs. Neural crest cells migrate to form parts of the autonomic nervous system, many tissues in the face and skull, and other tissue and cell types.

    The PHOX2B mutation associated with Ondine's Curse adds extra alanines to the polyalanine tracts in the PHOX2B protein, which is called a polyalanine repeat expansion. If someone has the PHOX2B mutation his or her Ondine's Curse diagnosis is clear. Unfortunately, absence of the mutation does not necessarily rule out Ondine's Curse . If a patient's symptoms look like and act like Ondine's Curse , the diagnosis can be made even though the PHOX2B gene tests normal.

    You can


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