When I moved from working in an advertising agency into publishing, my
first job was at Discover Magazine (at the time it was owned by The
Walt Disney Company a big hit with the kids).
Still a fan of the book 14 years later, a story I read today that made me think of Anthony Weiner. Have you noticed that he his always flashing his pearly whites? Even when the smile looks fake as in the picture above?
Maybe the scandal-plagued Mayoral Candidate is particularly proud of how white his teeth are. And perhaps that pride is because he brushes his teeth much more often than the “normal person.” It is even possible that he brushes his teeth more often because he has the affliction described below, the technical term for it is Tooth-brushing epilepsy with ictal orgasms.
Sometimes the human brain does weird things. Take the woman described in this case study, for example; when she brushed her teeth, it would induce a seizure that resulted in an orgasm before she passed out. It seems that there was reduced blood flow (hypoperfusion) and some damage (atrophy) in part of her brain that likely caused her tooth-brushing induced orgasms. No other activity seemed to produce this effect, including brushing without toothpaste. Why this particular combination of stimuli worked remains a mystery (to the disappointment of dentists everywhere).
“We report a 41-year-old woman with complex reflex epilepsy in which seizures were induced exclusively by the act of tooth brushing. All the attacks occurred with a specific sensation of sexual arousal and orgasm-like euphoria that were followed by a period of impairment of consciousness.Ictal EEG demonstrated two events of epileptic seizure that were provoked after tooth brushing for 38 and 14 seconds, respectively. The interictal EEG showed epileptiform discharges over the right anterior temporal region and interictal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan showed relative hypoperfusion in the uncus of right temporal lobe. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed right hippocampal atrophy. We suggest that tooth-brushing epilepsy, especially with sexual ictal manifestations, may provide insight into the cerebral pathophysiology at the right temporolimbic structure.”
Tracing back her seizure history, all seizures occurred during the
complete act of tooth brushing (using toothbrush and toothpaste
together). Apart from the act of tooth brushing, no other trigger factor
could be identified. Prolonged stimuli to the teeth and gums by
chopsticks or fingers did not provoke the seizures. The seizures could
not be induced by either the smell of toothpaste or the shaking movement
of right hand. She did not think that brushing a specific side or area
of her mouth or a specific brand of toothpaste or toothbrush was
particularly associated with the occurrence of the seizures. She has
never had spontaneous seizures.”
I am not saying that Weiner has this affliction, just hypothesizing. One thing for sure though, Elliot Spitzer doesn’t have this problem–he rarely smiles.