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August 14, 2014

Hashtag: #ABC2020




Airing Friday, August 15, 10 pm on ABC


From a disease that makes you feel and act drunk, to being allergic to noise, “20/20” reports on strange afflictions that can be debilitating. Anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir, “Strange Afflictions” airs on“20/20,” FRIDAY, AUGUST 15 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Reports include:


  • Imagine feeling and acting drunk without ever touching a drink. That’s what happens to those who suffer from Auto-Brewery Syndrome. Deborah Roberts reports on what causes this relatively unknown phenomenon in Western medicine and how it can put a great strain on a sufferer’s life.


  • Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive involuntary movements and vocalization called tics. But could these tics that on the surface cause Tourette sufferers much physical and emotional distress, also be the secret weapon of top athletes? Some doctors believe that it can supercharge the brain, giving people with the condition – like Team USA goalie Tim Howard – abnormal quickness and heightened reflexes. Additionally, ABC News explores the phenomenon where the tic magically disappears when the sufferer is engaged in a certain activity-including sports, acting, or playing an instrument. Elizabeth Vargas interviews actor Dash Mihok and Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Anthony Ervin, who both have Tourette Syndrome, on how they have found success not only in spite of their disorder but possibly because of it.


  • Selfies… everyone takes them – celebs, politicians, even… the Pope. Last year, “selfie” was Oxford Dictionary’s “word of the year.” But some are taking the trend a step further using selfies as a motivating factor for plastic surgery, including a young woman who got a nose job so she would look better for social media. Deborah Roberts reports.


  • New York Times writer Joyce Cohen and her husband Ben live in NYC — one of the noisiest cities in the world. But noise is torture for them – so much that Joyce wears industrial strength earmuffs outside, and her husband can barely leave their small apartment. They both suffer from hyperacusis, which causes terrible, often unbearable pain in the ear. Elizabeth Vargas reports.  (OAD: 2/7/14)


  • What is it like when you just can’t stop eating? “She feels like she’s starving 24/7,” says the mother of Hannah Wilkinson, a teenager with a strange affliction called Prader-Willi syndrome. The condition causes an insatiable appetite so severe that pantry cabinets and refrigerators must be locked down. Sufferers of the syndrome are sometimes found eating dog food and even garbage. “20/20” also follows Alexis Shapiro, who has acquired Prader-Willi syndrome, as she undergoes a dangerous operation that could potentially save her life. Mara Schiavocampo reports.


David Sloan is senior executive producer of “20/20.”

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