Demon face syndrome: a rare disease that turns people around into monsters

Throughout life, every person runs the risk of encountering disorders of the nervous system. Most often, people suffer from headaches, and sometimes they can be very severe – in such cases, they usually say that a person has a migraine. Neurological disorders also lead to loss of sensation and the inability to move certain parts of the body. Typically, this set of symptoms is characteristic of a stroke, in which blood circulation in the human brain is disrupted and cells die. There are also very rare neurological disorders, one of which is“demonic face syndrome.”To people with this disorder, it seems that the faces of the men and women around them are so distorted that they look like the evil grins of otherworldly creatures. Recently, doctors managed to find a unique patient with this syndrome and find out exactly how he sees people. Just look at these images!

Demon Face Syndrome: a rare disease that turns people around into monsters. With

With “demonic face syndrome,” a person sees people around him as monsters. Image:


  • 1 What is prosopometamorphopsia
  • 2 Demonic face syndrome
  • li>
  • 3 Causes of neurological disorders
  • 4 How people with demonic face syndrome see the world

What is prosopometamorphopsia

Demonic face syndrome in best known in medicine under the term prosopometamorphopsia. A person with this diagnosis sees some objects as distorted – for example, it seems to him that they have a different color or shape. Parts of the faces of people around him may seem stretched, flattened, and so on.

What is prosopometamorphopsia. Despite the distortion of faces, people with this diagnosis recognize their friends. Image: Photo.

Despite the distortion of faces, people with this diagnosis recognize their acquaintances. Image:

This neurological disorder has been known to scientists for a long time. However, no one can say for sure what causes demonic face syndrome. Some scientists believe that the reason lies in changes inside the brain. Others are inclined to believe that the outlines of objects change due to damage to the eyes. In addition to all this, the appearance of objects may be distorted due to schizophrenia or the use of illegal substances.

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Demon face syndrome

Demon face syndrome is rare – there are not even approximate statistics. Therefore, every person who has this diagnosis is of particular interest to scientists.

Recently, the authors of the scientific publication Science Alert talked about a 58-year-old man who visited one of the medical laboratories in the United States with strange complaints. According to him, for three years the faces of the people around him seem “demonic.” The external features of the head seem stretched out to him, and he sees deep folds on the forehead, cheeks and chin.

Demon face syndrome. Usually people with demon face syndrome do not have vision problems. Image: Photo.

However, he has no problems recognizing people. He doesn’t notice any distortion in photographs—the effect only appears when he sees real people. In three years, the man has already become accustomed to changes and has ceased to be afraid of it. But still, he decided to turn to specialists.

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Causes of neurological disorders

Doctors immediately diagnosed the man with prosopometamorphopsia. It was not congenital, because it appeared only in adulthood.

According to the patient, he did not use illegal substances. But there were plenty of events in his life that could have caused the development of demonic face syndrome.

For example, he had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, in which a person alternates between episodes of increased activity and major depression. He also had post-traumatic disorder, a condition that occurs when a person experiences traumatic events and suffers from anxiety and painful memories.

Causes of neurological disorders. Bipolar disorder is one of the possible factors in the development of demonic face syndrome. Image: Photo.

Bipolar disorder is one of the possible factors in the development of demonic face syndrome. Image:

He also suffered a serious head injury at age 43. Four months before the first symptoms of demonic face syndrome appeared, the man suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. Any of these events could lead to illness, but scientists cannot say for sure which one.

The patient had no problems with thinking, and his eyes were also fine. However, during a brain scan, scientists noticed that the patient had a centimeter cyst on the hippocampus. This part of the brain is responsible for memory, including orientation in space. Fortunately, over time, the cyst did not increase in size, and if this is the cause, the man’s condition will not worsen.

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How do people with demonic face syndrome see the world

Thanks to the fact that a man sees distorted faces only during live contact with people, scientists were able to look at the world through his eyes. They conducted an experiment in which the patient looked at people's faces live and in photographs. First, he looked at how a person looked in a photograph without distortion, and then looked at them through his “demonic” prism.

He explained in detail to scientists which parts of people’s faces are deformed and how much. All these changes were made to the photographs, thanks to which we can see how people with prosopometamorphopsia see the world. Look at the image below.

How people with demonic face syndrome see the world. This is how much prosopometamorphopsia distorts people's faces. Image: Photo.

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Prosopometamorphopsia can easily be added to our selection of human syndromes that baffle scientists. Be sure to read this material, you will learn a lot of new things!