Savant syndrome: The strange disease of geniuses

Savant syndrome is considered a strange and rare disease in the world. This is a term to refer to people who have outstanding abilities in one area, but they have shortcomings in other areas, especially psychology.

Savant syndrome

About 50% of children with savant syndrome have autism.

What is savant syndrome?

Savant syndrome, also known as Savant syndrome, is not a serious illness or mental disorder, but it causes enormous impacts on people’s daily lives. This is a strange disease, extremely rare in the world about “geniuses” who have the ability to outperform ordinary people in a certain field.

However, people with this syndrome will have some defects in other areas, the most common being psychological. They are often mentally unstable, abnormal or suffer from neurological disorders. According to statistics, more than half of the cases of savant syndrome are autistic people, some more serious cases can damage the brain.

1. Unsolved syndrome of geniuses

People with Savant syndrome will often possess extremely unusual and outstanding abilities in a particular profession or field. Some of the abilities that Savants can possess are:

  • Extremely fast calculation: People with savant can have a talent for extremely fast calculations, even complex ones. They can mentally calculate square and cubic roots, solve extremely difficult equations or count numbers very quickly.
  • Extreme Memory: One of the most common abilities found in Savants is the possession of a memory that surpasses that of a smartphone. They can quickly memorize the information they have just seen, remember each line in a book, each phone number in the phone book or the bus schedule just by observing for a short time.
  • Mental calculation: This ability can be seen on some movies, a person has the ability to quickly calculate the days, months, and years of the calendar. For example, they can say exactly what day September 6, 2022 falls on without looking at the calendar.
  • High aesthetics: People with savant syndrome can have the ability to play many different musical instruments, and can play a piece of music right after hearing them even once. At the same time, many people with this syndrome possess excellent sculpting and painting abilities.
  • Language ability: This is a rare ability but there are also some cases where Savant has the ability to write and translate many different languages ​​(15 to 20 languages) or they can write poetry very well.

Accordingly, a person with savant syndrome will often have a single skill or develop many skills at the same time. Most of these talents will be related to the right hemisphere, the hemisphere related to practicality and aesthetics. If you know the right approach in terms of thought, you can completely develop that remarkable ability.

Based on the results of computed tomography (CT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain of a person with savant syndrome, the left or right hemisphere of the brain is absent. Accordingly, the patient’s brain will not be divided into two hemispheres like normal people.

2. Diseases associated with Savant .’s syndrome

As shared above, people with savant syndrome will often have psychological defects, mental disorders. According to research and research, scientists also found a number of diseases related to Savant such as:

Rett Syndrome: This is a syndrome that directly affects the motor skills of the Savant.
Asperger’s Syndrome: People with this syndrome often have problems building relationships and being emotionally defined.
Autism: This condition affects a person’s ability to use language and social skills. Patients often have repetitive behaviors or have problems with communication.
Heller’s syndrome: Also known as degenerative autism spectrum disorder, is a condition that causes patients to have seizures and have reduced or even no intellectual development.

In addition to the developmental disorders mentioned above, people with savant syndrome are likely to experience other problems.

Cases of savant syndrome have been recognized

According to the results of a survey, currently, around 67 million people worldwide are suffering from savant syndrome. Specifically, some well-known and documented cases are:

1. Math and physics genius Jason Padgett

Jason Padgett is an ordinary person, he used to drop out of school and work part-time at a family furniture store and constantly indulge in selfless parties. It was not until the age of 31, after one night of being beaten for stealing things, that he became a genius in mathematics and physics.

Examples of people with savant syndrome

Math and physics genius Jason Padgett with the ability to draw fractal by hand

After being injured, he began to discover his ability to draw, himself being able to draw extremely complex geometric shapes for which he had never been properly trained before. One day by chance, a physicist discovered his talent while he was drawing these drawings at the shopping mall. He also advised him to pursue and participate in mathematical training and from there Jason went to mathematics with his outstanding abilities.

After that, he was also examined and diagnosed with savant syndrome. According to share, Jason is one of the few people in the world who can draw fractal by hand. These images will be repeated over and over and it will take weeks or months to complete it.

2. Orlando Serrell’s Super Memory

Orlando Serrell was born in 1968 in Virginia, at the age of 10, he was once hit in the head by a baseball and bled. However, he did not talk about this with his parents and did not go to the hospital for a check-up after the accident.

Orlando Serrell has savant syndrome

Orlando Serrell – Becomes a memory genius after being hit in the head by a baseball

A year after the incident, he continued to feel pain in his head, but the pain gradually subsided. A special thing is that he discovered that he could memorize the day of the week or any day of the year without any deviation. He was able to perform quick calendar calculations with extreme precision. Besides, he can also remember clearly about the weather that day, or what he used to do in those days.

3. Language genius Ben McMahon

Ben McMahon was once in a coma after a pretty serious traffic accident and no one can determine exactly when he will wake up. However, after only a week, he woke up and suddenly spoke and understood Mandarin – a Chinese language. Ben McMahon is an example of a person with savant syndrome.

Celebrities with savant syndrome

After an accidental coma, Ben McMahon became a linguistic genius

A year after the incident, he continued to feel pain in his head, but the pain fought subsided. A special thing is that he discovered that he could memorize the day of the week or any day of the year without any deviation. He was able to perform quick calendar calculations with extreme precision. Besides, he can also clearly remember about the weather that day, or what he used to do in those days.

Causes of savant syndrome

Savant syndrome can be triggered by neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, or as a result of brain trauma. A few reasons can include:

  • Genetics: According to experts, most people with Savant syndrome are due to genetic influences.
  • Trauma: Certain degenerative diseases or head injuries are also likely to lead to Savant. Experts say that complications that babies experience when they are just born can be the cause of this syndrome.
  • Hormones: Many people believe that the male hormone testosterone has the potential to speed up the development of Savant symptoms in infants. This is a hormone that has the ability to inhibit the production of the hormone oxytocin – a hormone that helps people adapt well to society. In addition, some hypothesize that mutated neurons also contribute to this syndrome.

People with dementia or epilepsy are also more likely to develop this syndrome. Accordingly, experts say, men are more susceptible to savant syndrome because their X chromosome has the ability to increase the risk of disease onset.

However, until now, Savant syndrome has not been identified specifically about the cause of the disease. Symptoms of the disease can be detected at an early age, but in some cases, it is not until adulthood. Some common risk factors include:


  • Birth defects
  • Ever had to resuscitate after giving birth?
  • People with a family history of Asperger’s syndrome
  • Premature babies, gestational period less than 35 weeks.
  • Birth weight less than 2kg5
  • Born to elderly parents, mother over 40 and father over 49.
  • Adverse living environment causes vitamin S deficiency or genetic mutations.

Symptoms of Savant’s Syndrome

Sagittarius syndrome is very diverse in symptoms, each patient will have its own manifestations, talents and defects. However, you can also observe their differences through factors such as:

Savant sufferers will have an outstanding ability in a certain area.

Savant sufferers will have an outstanding ability in a certain area.

  • Having a language disorder
  • Not having enough confidence in communication, rarely talking, making eye contact.
  • Underdeveloped both physically and mentally.
  • There are only certain ways of movement.
  • Or tend to be withdrawn, shy, timid with everything around.
  • Poor in intelligence but has an outstanding talent in a certain field.
  • There are abnormal changes in different parts of the brain.
  • Encountered many difficulties and obstacles in integrating with people around, and at the same time did not know how to express their thoughts.

Sagittarius syndrome will directly affect the development of each patient, especially children. It can trigger depression, loneliness and a host of other problems. At the same time, young children will also face difficulties and challenges in participating in social activities or even self-harm or suicidal behaviors.

Diagnosis of savant syndrome

Since Savant syndrome is not a disease, there is currently no method that can accurately diagnose this condition. However, experts have also diagnosed the brain dysfunction that accompanies this syndrome. Accordingly, autism is one of the most common and commonly diagnosed comorbidities.

At the same time, cases with savant syndrome also need to have some tests such as laboratory tests, CT scans, MRIs or brain scans. Besides, the specialist doctor will also conduct an assessment of IQ, EQ or some other necessary indicators. For other serious cases, the doctor may also apply a few more suitable diagnostic methods.

How to treat savant syndrome

Currently, there are no recognized methods of successful treatment of savant syndrome and no drugs capable of correcting this instability. However, some modern scientific measures can help reduce the effects of Savant syndrome.

Experts say that there are several ways to improve mental retardation and low IQ in cases of savant syndrome. In addition, there are a number of important educational programs and speech therapy that can also help people settle into a more stable life.

To help the patient balance everything well, the family needs to work closely with the therapist to improve the current situation. In order to help children better integrate into the community and lead a normal life, parents should take their children to new places and often meet new friends. This will create favorable conditions for children to talk, share, play and maintain life appropriate to their age, while also learning many new skills.

People with Savant syndrome have special abilities in a certain field, but have difficulty in social interaction, and have mental instability. Therefore, if you are around a genius like that, try to help them integrate better into the community.

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