By: Jeff Freeman Re: Brain Explosion : How To Tell If Your Head's About To Blow Up : From

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

By: Jeff Freeman Re: Brain Explosion : How To Tell If Your Head's About To Blow Up : From the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, May 24, 1994 : MOSCOW-- Doctors are blaming a rare electrical imbalance in the brain : for the bizarre death of a chess player whose head literally exploded : in the middle of a championship game! : No one else was hurt in the fatal explosion but four players and three : officials at the Moscow Candidate Masters' Chess Championships were : sprayed with blood and brain matter when Nikolai Titov's head suddenly : blew apart. Experts say he suffered from a condition called : Hyper-Cerebral Electrosis or HCE. : "He was deep in concentration with his eyes focused on the board," says : Titov's opponent, Vladimir Dobrynin. "All of a sudden his hands flew to : his temples and he screamed in pain. Everyone looked up from their : games, startled by the noise. Then, as if someone had put a bomb in his : cranium, his head popped like a firecracker." : Incredibly, Titiov's is not the first case in which a person's head has : spontaneously exploded. Five people are known to have died of HCE in : the last 25 years. The most recent death occurred just three years ago : in 1991, when European psychic Barbara Nicole's skull burst. Miss : Nicole's story was reported by newspapers worldwide, including WWN. : "HCE is an extremely rare physical imbalance," said Dr. Anatoly : Martinenko, famed neurologist and expert on the human brain who did the : autopsy on the brilliant chess expert. "It is a condition in which the : circuits of the brain become overloaded by the body's own electricity. : The explosions happen during periods of intense mental activity when : lots of current is surging through the brain. Victims are highly : intelligent people with great powers of concentration. Both Miss Nicole : and Mr. Titov were intense people who tended to keep those cerebral : circuits overloaded. In a way it could be said they were literally too : smart for their own good." : Although Dr. Martinenko says there are probably many undiagnosed cases, : he hastens to add that very few people will die from HCE. "Most people : who have it will never know. At this point, medical science still : doesn't know much about HCE. And since fatalities are so rare it will : probably be years before research money becomes available." : In the meantime, the doctor urges people to take it easy and not think : too hard for long periods of time. "Take frequent relaxation breaks : when you're doing things that take lots of mental focus," he recommends. : Although HCE is very rare, it can kill. Dr. Martinenko says knowing you : have the condition can greatly improve your odds of surviving it. A : "yes" answer to any three of the following seven questions could mean : that you have HCE: : Does your head sometimes ache when you think too hard? (Head pain : can indicate overloaded brain circuits.) : Do you ever hear a faint ringing or humming sound in your ears? (It : could be the sound of electricity in the skull cavity.) : Do you sometimes find yourself unable to get a thought out of your : head? (This is a possible sign of too much electrical activity in the : cerebral cortex.) : Do you spend more than five hours a day reading, balancing your : checkbook, or other thoughtful activity? (A common symptom of HCE is a : tendency to over-use the brain.) : When you get angry or frustrated do you feel pressure in your : temples? (Friends of people who died of HCE say the victims often : complained of head pressure in times of strong emotion.) : Do you ever overeat on ice cream, doughnuts and other sweets? (A : craving for sugar is typical of people with too much electrical pressure : in the cranium.) : Do you tend to analyze yourself too much? (HCE sufferers are often : introspective, "over-thinking" their lives.) I believe it. It was in a newspaper, after all.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank