Let’s kick of 2016 with one of the weirdest dental stories reported in 2015, shall we?
Instead of Bill Murray playing a disgruntled weatherman, we’ve got a man known as “William” living out his own version of this classic movie.
William is a British man who went in for a routine root canal in 2005 and walked out unable to recollect new memories for more than 90 minutes. Instead, he wakes up every morning believing it to be the day of his 2005 dental appointment. And even though host of professionals in neurology, psychiatry, and neuropsychology have studied his case, no one can figure out why.
William says, “I remember getting into the chair and the dentist inserting the local anesthetic.” But that’s the last lasting memory he has formed.
To help him maintain some sense of normalcy, every morning he reads an updated list of important facts his family provides for him and uses an online diary and prompts to keep him oriented during the day. Though he is still often surprised by things that have developed over the last decade when they aren’t included in his daily lists.
A decade later, the closest anyone has come to figuring out what triggered his bizarre amnesia is Dr. Gerald Burgess, who has been treating William for the past 10 years. There is no evidence whatsoever that the root canal procedure had anything to do with his current state. Rather, Dr. Burgess’s best guess is that this memory loss is caused by a breakdown of protein synthesis in the brain. He has recently published a study with four other similar cases and hope that further research will help shed light on this mystery.
But, as for William, he continues on, waking up each morning to the feeling he ought to be off to the dentist.