‘Evil twin’ lives in woman’s brain for 26 years

By Petro-Anne Vlok
24 April 2015

It sounds like something out a horror movie. When doctors performed surgery to have a tumour removed from a woman’s brain, they found a growth that had hair, teeth and bone.

Yamini Karaman, a PhD student in the US, first realised that there was something wrong with her last September. She struggled to follow conversations and suffered from severe headaches, fatigue and forgetfulness. Later she couldn’t read or walk, and even struggled to eat.

Her doctors discovered that the cause of her symptoms was a tumour on her brain’s pineal gland and when they performed surgery to remove it, they made a startling discovery. The growth wasn’t a just a tumour, but a teratoma, a type of tumour with teeth, bone and a clump of hair.

Teratomas are believed to be twins that don’t fully develop in the womb and are absorbed into the surviving twin’s body.

Yamini’s teratoma was successfully removed and she’s expected to make a full recovery. She refers to the growth as her “evil twin sister who’s been torturing me for the past 26 years”.

-Petro-Anne Vlok

SOURCES: dailymail.co.uk, nbclosangeles.com, gawker.com, washingtonpost.com

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