Viewers of “The Fall of the House of Usher” follow the narrator, a former friend-turned-rival of Roderick Usher, who’s been invited to hear the latter’s confession after the tragic and disturbing deaths of his children. This takes place in the long-abandoned house Usher and his sister grew up in, which he seems afraid of, and is portrayed as eery, cheerless, and depressing. On top of such a setting, we’re also led to believe that Usher hallucinates and sees things like a frightening figure in a costume as well as the mutilated remains of his children because of his disease – CADASIL.
“Think of your brain as a network of tiny blood vessels that supply it with blood and oxygen. In CADASIL, there is a problem with these blood vessels. They become narrower and less efficient over time,” explained Dr. Hafeez. Are hallucinations a part of the symptoms of this disease as portrayed in the Netflix show? Not according to the doctor. “Hallucinations are generally not considered a common symptom of CADASIL.” (Perhaps, we’re better off thinking Roderick Usher was plagued by guilt instead and this was the reason for his hallucinations).
She notes that the most typical symptoms of CADASIL include migraine headaches as well as strokes or Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) which can manifest in sudden weakness, numbness, or trouble with speaking. Other symptoms can include cognitive impairment like thinking, memory, and reasoning problems that progress over time. Afflicted people can also experience mood and psychiatric changes such as depression, anxiety, personality changes, mobility as well as balance-related issues like problems with walking, coordination, and balance, and vision and hearing impairments, added the doctor.