Former CNN Medical Correspondent Andrew Holtz examines how medicine and health are portrayed in the media... and why it matters. Holtz is the author of "The Medical Science of House, M.D." (2006), "The Real Grey's Anatomy" (2010) and the new "House, M.D. vs. Reality".
More information available at www.holtzreport.com
Thursday, September 15, 2011
As Seen on House vs. the Reality of Scrotal Pain as a Seizure Symptom
When House was almost stumped by a case of seemingly untreatable pain in the episode titled Painless, his "Aha!" moment involves watching a plumber scratch his groin. House surmises that they are making a mistake by trying to mask the pain instead of treating the source, which he believes is an unusual form of epilepsy.
There are a few cases that sound similar in the medical literature. For instance, a research letter to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry includes this description:
“The boy who was playing cheerfully, suddenly started screaming and clutched his scrotum with his hands,” the letter reported. “The entire attack lasted about 2½ minutes and this was followed by slow return of the right testis to its normal position within the scrotum.”
Ten days after admission to the hospital an EEG “showed random epileptic activity over the left central area.” And so the author of the letter advised readers that “scrotal pain associated with testicular jerking is an unusual form of seizure.”