Best of 2019: Fatal Familial Insomnia Pt. 1
Welcome to our cast presents. The Best of two thousand nineteen we have for you. The most requested stood episodes of medical mysteries from this year. For more great episodes you may have missed subscribe to medical mysteries. Listen free on spotify and anywhere anywhere you listen to podcasts. In the northeast corner of Italy lies veto a land of Valleys Hills rivers and the world famous Venetian lagoon where the capital city of Venice floats for generations. This place fostered families in the face of Plagues World Wars and revolutions but for one family. The land seemed more cursed than blessed in the summer of two thousand one. The many branches of this sprawling family family tree converged at a single home over fifty people in total some knew each other. Well while others were just Distant relatives this was a reunion of sorts but celebration was not in the cards over. The past asked three hundred years. The family line had been plagued by mysterious and terrible symptoms endless insomnia hallucinogenic nick madness and premature. Death had claimed generations with no clear medical answer until now a woman stood good before the family and called them to attention while her size didn't command the room. Her desperate voice did as did. Her is tired not yet from insomnia but from years of searching for the truth her name was Lisi alongside her husband in Yoshio Jio. She told her relatives that the time had come to address the family curse they were not dealing with bad luck or supernatural literal phenomena but a concrete biological disease and after years of being brushed off by medical professionals. It was time time for the family to take matters into their own hands. When our bodies fail we trust doctors to diagnose the problem but medicine isn't always an exact science sometimes? It's a guessing game with life or death stakes. This is medical mysteries. Akhar cast original. I Mali and I'm Richard. Every Tuesday will look at the strangest real-life medical cases in history and the experts who raced against the clock to solve them as we follow. These high intensity stories will explore medical research. That might solve the puzzle next week. In part two will analyze. He's all the evidence and try to find an answer. You can find episodes of medical mysteries and all other podcast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream medical mysteries for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type medical mysteries in the search bar at par cast most. Were grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at at park cast and twitter at podcast network. This is our first episode on the still incurable syndrome. That came to be known as fatal familial insomnia and the anonymous Italian family. That's been haunted by this mysterious disease. For centuries this week we'll trace the family's troubled history history from the pre Napoleonic canals of Venice to twentieth century Patois as successive generations tried and failed to understand their biological eagle curse next week will explore the discovery that revolutionized the study of infection and learn how fatal familial insomnia fits inside a much larger and deadlier paradigm of diseases than anyone could have an edge and we cannot help but sleep we can try to avoid as many a procrastinating teenager or anxious warrior has attempted opted. But we will always fail eventually it might take a few minutes or a few hours but that familiar heaviness behind the islands conventionally speaks up but what if sleep didn't return to you after a long day of work. What if no matter how you twisted and turned in your sheets? No matter how much your body ached and longed for it no matter how strange your thoughts became rest never arrived the national heart lung and blood institute connect sleep deprivation to a myriad of neurological and physical health problems. Your sleep deficient. You may have trouble making decisions solving problems controlling your emotions and behavior and coping with change sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression suicide and risk taking behavior when you sleep. Your body engages in a process of physical healing deep sleep triggers the release of hormones that repair tissues and muscles without the proper amount of deep sleep. Those hormones hormones become unbalanced the immune system weakens and heart disease diabetes and even the common cold have a better chance of overtaking. The body writing in scientific American professor of Psychiatry. Jay Christian Gillan addressed the question. How long can we stay awake before we die why? The answer isn't straightforward the official record for sleeplessness was one in nineteen sixty five by the teenager. Randy Andy Gardner. Who stayed awake for over eleven days for a school science fair? He was back to normal after one or two days of recovery sleep but often often even when a person doesn't reach full sleep. They aren't exactly awake either. As an example suffers of Marvin Syndrome which causes extreme stream muscle twitching often never enter a deep period asleep however in one case of Marvins Syndrome researchers observed that the subject still new entered an hour long hallucinatory stage each night the afflicted members of the Venetian family were discussing today. Would most likely relate eight to those was more of an syndrome. Sufferers of their mystery disease sometimes win as long as thirty months without experiencing a night. Eight of full sleep before the mass of imbalances of their metabolic. Hormonal and neurological systems finally killed them the uncertain in connection between sleeping and the other processes of the body lies at the heart of this mystery as author. DT Max documents in his his book the family that couldn't sleep science has finally begun to uncover some troubling truths about neurology in the past century as new tools have of emerged to help us probe the depths of the mind. A number of once incomprehensible diseases are now starting to make sense to researchers from Alzheimer's Parkinson's Parkinson's to the Venetian family curse for the sake of the family's privacy. Their surname has been shielded from the records but for simplicity. We'll call them the Venetians. The earliest recorded instance of symptoms in the family line can be traced to seventeen seventeen sixty four. This man's name has been lost to time but it is known that he was an esteemed. patrician doctor in Venice often called the Republic of music. The waterways of the legendary capital city were full of vibrant life. The Venetian Dr lived at the same time as the roguish. Casanova the legendary Lothar E. Oh and writer he most likely attended the opulent gallons of the city's elite where masked merchants gallivanting side by side with European royalty. The doctor may not have been at the highest end of this hereditary oligarchy. Esteem and wealth were passed down familiar lines yet. He was still wealthy enough to hold land in both the capital city of Venice and the countryside head of Venedetto. A graduate of the School of Medicine at Padua doctor was an intellectual descendant of Galileo himself and swore whereby nothing but the scientific method so one evening late in seventeen sixty four when even the peaceful sounds of Venice night. Couldn't low him to sleep. The doctor began to think something was wrong. He called out to his wife in the other room. The doctor's doctor's wife gazed into her husband's sleepless is. There was a bit of a glassy. Look to them. As if he were caught between the waking world in the dreaming one she also noticed. Her husband glistened with sweat from head to toe. The sweat has soaked through his layers of clothes and into the sheets. It's she filled a bucket of cold water and ran a cool club against his head hoping to cool any fever he might have but the doctor shook her off. The strangest thing about all of this was he wasn't hot while this was only the beginning of the rationalist era and doctors were more often wrong than ride. They knew that sickness and sweat were usually accompanied by a rise in body temperature yet. The doctor was is cool to the touch. His sweat ran for no clear reason at all when the morning clarion call. From Piazza San Marco rang rang out. The doctor still had not slept a wink. His wife suggested he stay in bed but the frustrated doctor forced his body up. There was much which work to do today as always sleep would certainly come the next night so the doctor returned to his routine for weeks. He commuted commuted between his two properties practicing his trade in both the city and countryside and yet sleep continued to elude him he he could close his eyes quiet his mind but he never quite drifted off into unconsciousness. His discomfort and exhaustion only grew you over the next few weeks. He consulted with other friends in the medical field but all they could suggest was to spend more time in the fresh air. The conception sleep in seventeen sixty four was still firmly said in Aristoteles ideas the Greek philosopher had ruled that sleep was linearly linearly connected to eating the energy or fumes from the meal drifted through the body until they entered the heart the cooling process then produce sleepiness around two hundred ce. The physician galen advanced things slightly further suggesting that it was the brain and and not the heart that led to sleep but beyond that it was still all Greek to the doctors of Venice and no help to are specific. Doctor during the following weeks stiffness spread through his limbs and his anxiety ratcheted up. The doctor began to suspect the environment was to blame name. Mysterious Diseases were not uncommon in this land of humidity and swampy water. Infection was such a regular problem that Venice's Ennis's public health department had strict regulations on the management of contagion after a victim was claimed by disease all of their sheets were burned earned in pyre and the rest of their belongings were left out in the suns purifying heat public servants. Then oversaw the perfuming of the deceased East's residents because as Dt. Max writes the predominant view was that infection was an invisible substance carried in the air smell smell connecting the spread of disease to particles. That couldn't be seen by. The human eye was an intuitive thought but perfuming didn't actually do anything anything to combat bacteria and viruses which weren't yet understood by scientists either way. The doctors colleagues concurred that he didn't this show any signs of a typical infection but they didn't have an alternative explanation either. By the beginning of seventeen sixty five the doctors months of sleeplessness had left him completely bedridden while the records don't stayed his exact symptoms we can draw conclusions from the fades that would soon follow in his family in the final stages of this illness. The lack of coordination caused by sleep deprivation nation progresses to the point where body movement becomes erratic or sometimes completely impossible. The doctor's wife allowed her husband's his friends to gather in their home at all hours as they work to find a solution she herself was exhausted from keeping vigil all night every night as the doctor Dr began to have dangerous hallucinations. One night he nearly mistakenly walked out his bedroom window her earlier. Observations regarding the doctors body temperature also seemed to have changed one night he was cool and the next he was burning hot but in either case he he was always sweating his colleagues saw. Only one possible solution. A popular drug called trickle for over fourteen eighteen hundred years physicians and healers across Europe. Had always turn to trickle. There were many different bruise. But the key the ingredient was always viper's flesh. According to the ancient Greek physician galen it took poison to destroy poison in the body. Well this is a solid concept that eventually became the basis for treatments like vaccination and chemotherapy. A lack of regulation in the eighteenth century meant most trickle was little more than snake oil. But hoping for the best the doctors colleagues walked away from a local apothecary. With a fresh batch of trickle in hand and return to his bedside they fed him the miracle cure either directly as a paste or mixed in with water when they finally got it down his throat. They sat back and observed. Besides Viper's flesh the mix contained gained opium which was often prescribed for insomnia due to. Its sedative affects. That would surely bring their friends. Some sorely needed rest but again the morning bell rang out and another night had passed without rest. If anything the trickle only made the doctor even sweatier the doctors colleagues left his home and told his wife there was only one type of healer. She could turn to now the local local priests for the next two months. The doctor sat completely paralyzed in his own bed. Still unable to move from his stiffness and loss of coordination coordination death arrived before sleep ever. Did the records of this doctors. Illness are some of the longest found in the Venice medical records from that year within the medical community. This mystery must have held quite sway and yet in the end all all the could be written for his cause of death was quote in organic defect of the hearts sack just like that a pattern began again members of the Venetian family were born. They tried to live well but seemingly at random were struck. Down by a protracted and deadly insomnia Eddie. Young Age doctors misunderstood their conditions and their causes of death. Soon enough the family could only write it off as is an unlucky twist of fate. They were cursed. Coming up will follow the curse. Through the ages into the modern era and explore the carnage left left in. Its wake. Hi It's Molly Park asked listeners. We have something special just for you. You starting December eleventh. PODCAST is rereleasing forty. Five classic episodes from the critically acclaimed series remarkable belives. Tragic deaths as part of the new limited series famous fades these stories are all true. All compelling and only available on spotify here our hosts Carter and Vanessa to tell you more thank you so much. We are thrilled to bring back the amazing true stories behind. Find some of history's most influential lives and chocking deaths. Starting December eleventh remarkable lives tragic deaths notably named an I tunes best. New podcast of two thousand sixteen is coming back to spotify as the new limited series famous fates with five episodes released east every Wednesday. Each group will center around a common theme such as Hollywood icons mysterious deaths or notorious names from Marilyn Monroe. And Harry Harry Houdini to Vincent Van Gogh and Al Capone will delve deeper into the extraordinary lives that helped shape our world and explore the lasting effects. Their deaths had on our culture. These incredible stories are all brought to life by an ensemble cast of talented voice actors and most importantly these he's episodes are all free and only available on spotify follow the park cast limited series famous fates only on spotify and now back to the story five years after the Venetian Dr died from his mysterious and chronic case of insomnia. His nephew giuseppe was born in seventeen. Seventy Giuseppe grew walk in his uncle's idyllic countryside Palazzo until Napoleon's invasion in seventeen ninety seven. The former Republic of Venice was is traded to Austrian control under which it would remain for most of the next century under Austria's rain the countryside Venuto fell on truly hard times as the Mercantile Oligarchy thinned-out in the capital city the farmers and artisans experienced trickled down hardship. The countryside's troubles only grew when Austria decided to dig channels through the valleys to route freshwater into the capital city in this had the effect of transforming all Benneteau into a veritable swamp as mentioned earlier. This atmosphere served as a vector factor for many diseases and now it was malaria. Time in the spotlight. This vicious disease limited productivity on farmlands as workers succumb to illness and death. This in turn led to malnutrition which led to yet another disease known as Allegra. GRA The World Health Organization identifies Pellagra as a disease have nutrient deficiency associated with diets with low levels of Niacin or other b-vitamins resulting in dermatitis diarrhea and dementia that can lead to death in the first decades aids of the nineteenth century. Giuseppe tried to work the land and support his increasingly large family including his three sons. Costano Angelo and Vincenzo but in eighteen twenty seven Costanza succumbed to illness he raved through the night and and told his father that it felt as if he had been possessed despite an extended prescription of exercises by Catholic Priests Costanza. Dante died in eighteen. Twenty eight after months of protracted illness still in his teenage years. His recorded cause of death matched etched so many others in the area. It was Pellagra while the skin condition associated with Pellagra did not match costanza symptoms dementia. Indepth certainly did that was enough for Italian medical authorities to connect the two syndromes. Giuseppe refused to accept such such an answer. The family was well off enough that no one went hungry. No malnutrition meant no allegra. But doctors weren't interested listed in investigating and other 'cause until Giuseppi also fill at fifty eight. His symptoms more closely resembled his late uncle's uncles rather than his son. custodies more insomnia less delirium. It is possible that father and son truly did have different diseases. This is yet the differing symptoms based on age would pop up later through the Venetian family tree. There's also the sad fact that both father and son were mobilized for months before their inevitable and unexplainable deaths Giuseppe passed away within the same year as Costano Taytay eighteen. Twenty eight this left Vincenzo and Angelo behind born in eighteen thirteen. Angela was dead by the eighteen seventies. These when he was in his sixties his symptoms were nearly an exact match for his father's Vincenzo on the other hand survived until eighteen eighty when he died of cancer not the family disease at age. Fifty eight before Vincenzo Past. He and his redheaded wife Marianne ahead ahead eight children six of whom would survive until adulthood. Marianna passed away in eighteen ninety three and count herself. Lucky not to die the same long painful death as her husband's relatives but Marianna and Vincenzo children weren't so lucky though neither parent lived to learn. Learn this hard truth. Their first born Angelo died in one thousand nine hundred eighty one in his mid thirties. While purina followed in one thousand nine hundred six in her forties Giovanni in nineteen thirteen in his forties and finally Antonio in Nineteen Twenty Six in his fifties records listed different causes of death for each sibling but the conclusions were never very definitive from the modern perspective. All All signs point towards the siblings dying of the same family disease the Venetian family began to have a similar sense. Something was haunting wanting them but they had no easy answer since Marianna was not from Benneteau originally. She was an easy scapegoat for her descendants. They didn't yet know. Oh that the disease went all the way back to the Venetian doctor. So they blamed the red headed interloper for bringing the curse in addition to heartache. The deaths offs also caused a tragic cycle of economic misfortune the infected branches of the Venetian family grew successively less wealthy due to the early deaths of the working age adults. This caused yet another a vicious cycle as these families than had more and more children to create more wage earners and keep everyone fat. The mysterious disease spread rapidly down the family line yet. Venetian and Italian doctors never ever properly connected. All of these cases to one another the family members causes of death were listed over and over as Pellagra or dementia or or even lumped with the encephalitis lethargic plague that had spread over Europe in the early decades of the nineteen hundreds otherwise known as the sleeping sickness us this rare form of encephalitis a brain. Swelling disease causes victims to fall into periods of unending slumber the exact exact opposite of the Venetian families problem. However as Dr Nathan Eastern Road for the CEPHALOPODA society some other symptoms symptoms of the two diseases resemble one another such as muscle paralysis forms of delirium and flu like symptoms before World War? One encephalitis lethargic was spreading rapidly across Europe however as cases gradually declined it became clear that the Venetian families disease was something else and as time went on the possible causes only continued to shrink after through the unification of Italy in eighteen. Seventy one a huge public works project was put in motion to drain the swamps that had infested the Venuto thaut countryside. Large hydraulic pump. Technology cleared away much of the murky water and without anywhere for bacteria to Fester Mr. The scourge of malaria mostly vanished. But as the general death. Toll flatlined this only made the deaths in the Venetian family. Stand standout even more now. The notion of a family curse spread beyond their private homes and into the public gossip mill. It was into this atmosphere. That Pietro Vincenzo grandson grew when he was born in eighteen ninety four. The family had already fallen far from their patrician origins. Pietro was not wealthy but he was ambitious he studied and he read and he worked hard to earn the respect of his community. Not But then the Great War came to Italy in one thousand nine Hundred Fifteen when Pietro was twenty one in the wake aac of the destruction. The brand new hydraulic pumps died and malaria returned during these struggles. The Socialist Party came to power and Pietro became a guiding light in the new local government only in his twenties he was dedicated to rebuilding the Venuto countryside and keeping the national spirit of Italy alive but there was one black mark on his record the Venetian family curse I although he was a respected member of the community not many women desire to wed accursed man. Pietro did finally line only managed to wed a dedicated partner in nineteen twenty and they had five children by nineteen thirty one e Selena. To- Ska Purina are assumed and Silvano Pietro's political idealism faced a heavy challenge in the nineteen thirties. As Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party party took control of the country H. O. was forced to bend the knee and serve this autocratic and corrupt government. He did it to hold onto his property and and keep his family fed. Let some of his old socialist allies never forgave him by nineteen forty-three world. Were to kick the legs out from under the fascist government. Partisan forces throughout Italy came together to fight off the fascists and Pietro atro- fell into their crosshairs in nineteen forty four. A threat was posted to his family's front door. It read. Prepare your bones because we're going to break them soon. Signed go sleep with the fishes Pietro's enemies didn't understand the irony any of this statement soon after receiving the threat. A sudden stiffness seized his body and he fell to his knees while trying to work in the fields. He told himself himself. It was nothing but stress but his daughter he selena knew something was very wrong. Thanks to her keen intuition history finally received received its first in-depth record of the family disease was confined to a hospital bed by nineteen forty. The three with doctors throwing their hands and confusion as they always had in the face of the families occurs with great sadness. Selena wrote to her brother. Tosa Papa is considerably worse than a month ago. He's lost his mind. He barely speaks and when he does. He doesn't know what he's saying when he sleeps. It's even worse. He makes these little movements because his nerves are never calm he rubs his hands and says he has pins and needles all this while seemingly asleep and when he wakes he is more tired than ever for. This last note was an incredibly important observation. WHAT HE SELENA noticed without realizing it is that this was a form of insomnia not doc dementia or delirium? Those signs of madness were side effects. Not The inherent issue what could not. Clearly communicate is is that even when he appeared to be resting he never truly achieved deep sleep. In the nineteen twenties Dr Nathaniel Clayton and started decades of research into sleep cycles. It wouldn't be until nineteen fifty three that Clyde men and his student Eugene as Rynski discovered rapid eye movement sleep the phase when dreaming occurs from their scientists began to untangle the different phases asleep type according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders. There are four main stages divided between non rem and rem sleep the first nonren- stage lasts only a few minutes as muscles relax and heartbeat slows. The second stage of non rem sleep. Is the brains cool down period until it finally achieves non ram deep sleep in Stage three this is a stage where the most physiological recovery actually surely occurs finally stage four is when our minds enter into the dreaming state of Rim during a full night's rest our our minds and bodies cycle through the four stages multiple times with the most time spent in stages two and three long-term disruptions is to the cycle can cause serious effects on the body's processes but of course in one thousand nine hundred forty three. None of this was known to the small Venice Hospital where a PA tra- laid as the battles of world. War Two raged overhead. He selena stayed by her father's side as bombs. uh-huh shook the hospital building all around them. She knew the doctor's diagnosis of encephalitis was incorrect. Because Pietro who who was still lucid. Did Not complain of headaches. A key symptom of that disease. But even after all of her efforts to observe and record in her father's struggle doctors could find no answer to the medical puzzle remained bedridden until his death on June nineteenth since nineteen forty four at the age of forty nine another mistaken cause of death was recorded hypertension. He selena could only Shaker Acre head and chalk up another tragedy to the Venetian family curse thirty years later in nineteen seventy three P. H.. Rose youngest youngest daughter assumed sat before a loom working long hours for low pay in an Italy impoverished by the oil crisis but she never complained. That's what her niece. E SELENA's daughter. Lisi would always remember about her. Throughout the year the twenty-four-year-old or you roll. Lacey would come to find her life defined by an all consuming anxiety. It began when the ailing Asuka took refuge in the upstairs bedroom of their there home. One fateful day is Selena. Lead Lisa upstairs to watch over. Her aunt gracie watched in fear as Selena. Selena explained that this was the same exact progression of symptoms that overtook Pietro. All those years ago but unlike everyone else Elson her family lacy could not take it lying down. She realized that what was affecting sooner had been striking down other members of their family in the decades since Trudeau's death Piatra sister Angelo had died in nineteen forty eight followed by his niece Luigia in nineteen and fifty two and another niece Maria in nineteen sixty four. All of their symptoms corresponded with those of the family. Illness Lisi. She inherited the intuition of her mother Selina but took her observations a step further. She was studying to be a nurse. And engaged to an aspiring doctor you're named NATO together the pair set out to eliminate the notion of a curse and discover the true source of a familial disease when we return Lisi CEO begin their own investigation Russian into the Venetian family curse and now back to the story as a soon ten lead in bed. Ed incapacitated by the same disease that had ravaged her family for centuries a lights. Above her flickered. Nineteen seventy-three was an austere time for Italy. As the global oil crisis led to both food shortages and electrical blackouts. Luckily assumed his brother Silvano had become a successful businessman in the years. Since their Father Pietro's death financially. At least he could carry the burden burden of this family curse in much the same way. Lisa was picking up a different type of burden. DT Max defines it well in the pages of of the family who couldn't sleep common among families with genetic diseases is that members tend to divide between the ignores and the burden carriers ears in this family. Lisi is a burden carrier that all began here in nineteen seventy-three when Asuka reported to her niece ace that she felt quote like a Marionette whose master had dropped the strings. After a summer spent sweating and stiffening inside. Made her brother's home. The family finally relented and brought a soon to to a hospital. Lacy was all too ready for the typical response. Examining doctor suggested everything including encephalitis before. Finally settling on an inner ear disorder called many as disease. These dizzy spells and sweating. Were symptoms of many years which lined up with a cintas symptoms at least almost laughed in disbelief when she asked after the cause of many years it was unknown. One doctor suggested might be menopause. MEC- also new miniatures. Didn't explain the insomnia Omnia that haunted all the sick members of her family from a sooner back to PA tro and she assumed long before that to the family transferred to a hospital in Padua for the best possible care. The journey drained her of her remaining energy and she was only met by more confused. Doctors they insisted that as soon after must be hiding an alcohol problem her shaking uncontrollable limbs her heightened anxiety diety and sleeplessness assumed. I could only tearfully shake her head and deny it. Her spirit crumbled. The more doctors insisted did that. She was hiding something from her family. Lisi was indignant over the medical staffs treatment of ant. The hospital tied her down to her bed. Head to keep it from thrashing onto the floor and still they couldn't diagnose what was wrong with her. As soon as I was sent down a line of cat scans and other brain monitoring tests but there was nothing out of place in her head. On December thirtieth nineteen eighteen. Seventy three. The Patio medical staff injected her with a die hoping to scan her again and search for a hidden tumor instead a cintas heart rate skyrocketed and her convulsions worsened. Lisi and the rest of the family could only watch in horror. As as a scientist struggled for breath an emergency tracheotomy was performed. Doctors cut a hole into her throat and inserted a breathing Tube Jilib. Everyone expected her to die but incredibly a cintas still hung onto life into the new year interviewed later by. DT Max ax lacy wistfully recalled that her aunt could talk till the end. Just like whatever was wrong with her brain. Never affected did her memory when as soon died in the early days of nineteen seventy four. She was exhausted. Her pupils were small pinpricks of black and she had sweat out most of her body weight but she still knew who she was and she still knew her family was right there by her side. Eight days later on the eve of a cintas autopsy. Lucia Newman yet. CEO agreed that he would attended to make his own observations wins now an accredited doctor the hospital allowed in Nazi. Oh in as a guest. He sat amongst medical experts in the autopsy examination theater when a scientist brain was removed its weight didn't seem to indicate there had been any extensive loss of mass as would be consistent with something like alzheimers timers or a brain infection frustrated. The examiner kept cutting sectioning the brain into smaller and smaller pieces with nothing to show for it. In yachts. yohe grew frustrated as well as he knew. Such a massacre of an autopsy would prevent him from doing more microscopic study later and in the end it was all for nothing. The autopsy didn't yield any useful information over the next four years following any natsios marriage the couple set to work putting together a comprehensive history of the family and and their disease Lisi's mother Selena became her reluctant guide to distant relatives and long lost stories as any Nazi oh worked and they literally put their historian graffiti together on a poster in the shape of a tree in nineteen seventy eight Lisi's other ant purina arena began to show signs of the family disease. This time they see an immediate. CEO arrived at the hospital prepared. They cutoff any possible misunderstandings right away. No this was not Alzheimer's or Miniere's or menopause or alcoholism. This was something else and they didn't have much time to figure it out. They were right. Time was not on Purina side and she passed away in March nineteen seventy-nine in almost identical conditions to her younger sister a suitor but this time the listed cause of death was not a complete guess. The hospital put it down as familial encephalitis of indeterminable origin in yachts. That's your refuse to let the hospital. VIVISECTION PURINA's brain like they had done to assume twos instead he made contact with the famed named neurologist. Dr Yohannes Vigliotti in Geneva and sent him samples of Purina's tissue before sending them off in yet Zeo uh-huh himself had studied the samples under a microscope and made quite the monumental discovery. There were significant. Clusters of dead protein scattered across hearing is brain tissue. Researchers identified these as structures called plaques for their uniform solid form that contrasts with the rest of the healthier healthier tissue around them by chance in yachts Yo had read through case studies that included plaques during his intensive years of study when he saw the strange scarring of a symtas tissue his mind jump back to one particular case in the nineteen. Ten's German doctor. Hans Creuzfeld examined the brain of a girl who had seemingly been killed by Pellagra the same disease of malnutrition upon on which so many of the deaths in the Venetian family had been blamed but Creutzfeldt realized it was a neurological condition. That really killed the girl when he he found plaques of dead neurons all over her brain tissue samples. This was unusual. Neurological decay did not often take place over over the entire span of the brain instead gathering in specific areas. But whatever this was it was different. Ten years later her another German neurologist named alphonse-marie iago diagnosed several other cases with the same condition. Finally in Nineteen Twenty eight an Austrian doctor called Yosef Gerston. Put it all together. A series of patients came to him with poor coordination and qualities of dementia after their deaths. Gerston recognized that their plaque infested tissue samples matched the samples from both both courts foulds and Yacob's patients in so creutzfeldt-jacob disease was officially minted of course like Venetian families disease. No one actually knew the cause of course failed Jakko or cj de for short and by by the time of PURINA's death in nineteen seventy nine only one hundred and fifty people had officially died from it according to DT Max several researchers at the time wondered if CJ D. was nothing more than a convenient dumping ground for otherwise unclassifiable dementias. His when in yachts Yo brought up a possible connection between CJ D. and the Venetian families unknown condition the neurologist he consulted assaulted sided with those suspicious. Researchers purina samples showed that the neurological damage was mainly confined to the foul mouth structure picture in the brain C.. J. D. did not affect that area so they couldn't be the same disease once again Li Xiang yet Sio were were left disappointed. The curse remained hanging over their heads. Lisi grew more paranoid than ever all of this research had given her nightmares about when the disease might come for her or her mother e Selena. She followed her mother around the house watching for any signs that she might be falling ill she later told DT. Max I was a spy in my own house. These were years lived in Hell. But E SELENA would not be the next victim the curse would fall upon. LISI's Uncle Silvano I however this next battle against a disease would a change everything it turned out that in Yahtzee Oh had gotten very close to the truth when he linked the family condition to C. J. D. see the two diseases did share a commonality. They were sisters in a newly emerging group of diseases caused by a strange and misunderstood stood infectious agent. It wasn't a virus or a bacterium or anything of the sort. It was not any kind of foreign agent hoping to triumph over our our biology. It was our biology. It was a part of the body that for some reason turned against the rest. It was simply simply a protein gun roque today they are known as preowneds and they are the cause of diseases across all forms of life such as C. J. D. mad cow disease and yes fatal familial insomnia yeah after centuries of isolation the Venetian family was about to discover. They were not quite as alone in this struggle. Real estate had always gleamed. Thanks for listening to medical mysteries. Next week we'll go back in time to track a parallel line of scientific research that led to the discovery of pre-owned diseases and learn how the Venetian families own investigation fit within a much larger framework of biological history for more information on fatal familial insomnia amongst the varied sources we used we found. DT Max's investigatory history. The family only the couldn't sleep extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of medical mysteries and all other podcast originals for free On spotify not only to spotify already. Have all your favorite music but now spotify making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favourite archivist originals like medical mysteries for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream medical mysteries on spotify. Just open the APP tap browse and type medical mysteries in the search bar. And don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at par cast and twitter. At podcast network will see next time. Medical mysteries was created by Max. Cutler is a production of cutler media. And his part of the podcast network it is produced by Max and Ron Cutler sound designed by Michael Langer with production assistance by Ron Shapiro. All Liba Skin Skin Maggie Admire and Carly Madman. This episode of Medical Mysteries was written by Jack. Ben Tell and stars Molly Brandenburg and Richard Rosner Sner podcast listeners. Don't forget to check out the limited series that's just for you. Starting December Eleventh Park cast is rereleasing forty five classic episodes from the critically acclaimed aimed series. Remarkable lives tragic deaths as part of the new limited series famous fates these stories are all true. All compelling helling and only available on spotify with five episodes released every Wednesday journey deeper into the impactful lives and shocking deaths of Hollywood icons thought leaders influential women and more follow the limited series famous fates free and only on spotify.