Man goes through life without fear due to brain disorder

A U.S 43 years old man declared as F.S from Florida. has a rare genetic condition causing him a brain disease that makes anyone who has this brain disorder absent of fear, they can’t feel anything when they are in a situation that is terrifying for a normal person.

A neuroscientist from the University of California who pursue many patients with the same brain disease and a specialist in Chiari malformation said “if he confronts a life-threatening situation as he did many times through his life his system won’t declare any type of fear as we may experience you and me”

At the University of California center, researchers tried many experiences trying to understand this brain disease, they put him few inches near to a poisonous snake, been held at gunpoint and knifepoint, in addition to many life-threatening stories he has through his life and nothing seems to agitate the Florida man.

It’s because F.S a middle-aged man of four kids and a master degree in sociology, work for a state entity and have a truly nice family has Urbach-Wiethe disease, which causes calcium deposit to build in the brain’s amygdala which makes it useless and stopped it from doing its normal function.

Here is a definition of the amygdala from Wikipedia :

“The amygdala is one of two almond-shaped clusters of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans. Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making and emotional responses (including fear, anxiety, and aggression), the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.”


amygdala picture from Wikipedia

Amygdala is a part of the brain responsible of how we do response to fear by sending signals whenever it senses danger to the key parts of our body that most react to that type of danger, like excretion of some hormones or lunch the fight or flight response system, or making the palms sweaty or even increase the heartbeat, since his amygdala doesn’t work he doesn’t response to fear like the rest of us.

The only two moments he felt anxious was when he was injected by carbon dioxide in the University of California by scientists and researchers to mimic suffocation and a second time was way before when he was a child and came close to a large catfish.

F.S is leading a normal life and feels all other emotions; it may be that the bad events appear to us because we know that she was threatened. so as a result, but she herself did not see herself threatened. so as a result, she is lacking the bad stuff in her life.

The Urbach-Wiethe disease is a very rare brain disease only 400 from all the world population are estimated to have this brain disorder. The F.S case may one day help researches to identify a solution to this brain malfunction to help other people with Chiari malformation, traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome or post-traumatic stress disorder. if scientists and biologists can find ways to work with the amygdala responses, many brain malfunction patients may find relief.

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