Previously published in Examiner
Part 7 of the Vampire series
Types of Porphyria
There are two main divisions, of porphyria, acute which involves the nervous system, and cuteanous which effects the skin. Porphyria may be inherited – hereditary coproporphyria , or variegate porphyria.
Origin of the disease
It is said that Hippocrates was first to acknowledge porphyria which in ancient times, was called blood/liver disease. In 1889, Dr. B.J. Stokvis coined the clinical syndrome as porphyria and after that more and more forms of the disease were discovered.
Common forms of prophyria in the United States and Canada
Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) – was the type of porphyria which was the condition afflicting King George III of Britain. As a result, he was known as the mad King. This form of porphyria affects the nervous system and can cause hallucinations, trances, and seizures. Most people only have a latent form of the disease and therefore do not experience any symptoms.
The most common of all forms of porphyria in the USA and Canada is porphyria cutanea tarda. The symptoms of this form of porphyria is photosensitivity, (an extreme sensitivity to light).
Here is where the idea of human vampires becomes more evident. In this form of the disease, the skin can blister, healing is slow, and hair growth especially on the face can be either fine or course causing the afflicted to look like a werewolf.
Again, there is a theory that the legend of the werewolf might originate from witnessing people who were suffering from this disease.
Congenital erythropoietic porphyria (CEP) is rare today, but not so rare in the past ,in places like Transylvania where inbreeding had occurred. Here again, the origins of the vampire could be explained through human medical conditions.
The worst of these symptoms include scarring of the cornea, extreme sensitivity to light, blindness, and even loss fingers and mutilated facial features.
The Départment de médecine du travail et hygiène du milieu, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale A, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7, Canada did a study on rats do study prophyria . It was published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Volume 145, Issue 1, July 1997, Pages 23-33.
to be continued