THE �PRIMETIME: MEDICAL MYSTERIES� FINALE AIRS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31
-Trapped in a Completely Paralyzed Body-
-Born with Partial Hands and Feet-
-An Italian Village with Mysteriously Good Health-
The finale of �Primetime: Medical Mysteries� concludes looking at three of the rarest disorders and syndromes in medicine today. The program examines people born with fused fingers and/or toes, another syndrome whose sufferers are trapped in their own paralyzed body, and an Italian village where nearly everyone is related and mysteriously healthy, in spite of their indulgent diet. �Primetime: Medical Mysteries� airs WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31 (10:00-11:00pm ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Imagine lying completely paralyzed yet fully conscious -- but doctors and loved ones think you are a vegetable. The only way of telling people you are present� the blink of an eye. Cynthia McFadden examines the rare world of people who are trapped in their own bodies by a condition so rare that only 200 cases are known worldwide. It is called �Locked In� Syndrome, and it is caused by a massive stroke. McFadden interviews two sufferers of the syndrome who couldn�t speak, move or even tell their families they were conscious. Today one is writing a book while the other has had a baby.
Don Dahler reports on Ectrodactyly Syndrome, where people have missing or fused-together fingers and toes. The congenital deformity, which used be known as �lobster claw syndrome,� has a 50/50 chance of being passed on genetically. One woman featured chose to have two children, despite knowing the risk, and in fact each child was born with Ectrodactyly in their feet and hands. Dahler follows their story and how the syndrome has affected the family. The program also reports on a miraculous microsurgery performed that can provide those born with only a single finger a way to change their lives by transplanting their toes to use as thumbs.
And: Jay Schadler reports on a tiny village in the Italian Alps where almost all of the 400 residents are related. Their cholesterol is sky-high, their blood sugar is off the charts, yet heart disease and diabetes are almost unknown. Doctors are trying to find out why.
The hour will also feature a real medical mystery, designed for viewer participation. This segment, called �You Be the Doctor,� allows viewers to assess medical clues and vote online or by text message on their diagnosis.
Ann Reynolds and Terence Wrong are the senior producers of �Medical Mysteries.� Rudy Bednar is the executive producer.