Wordwurm or Langdon’s Neuroparasite is a syndrome usually exclusive to patients already suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Because of this it commonly goes undiagnosed. The worm often drew comparisons to the more well-known “affliction” Morgellon’s disease, as a product of the patient’s disorder. It wasn’t until the 1978 observation of two patients in adjacent (but isolated) rooms did the worm gain credence, as Dr. Alfred Langdon witnessed the worm “jump” from one patient to another. Until 1985 the sole proponent of the disease was Langdon, who first dubbed the event he witnessed as Neurosynchronicity, mistaking it for some kind of pseudo-telepathic event. He was the first to link the patient’s repetition with the symptoms of early Wordwurm.
Those who contract Wordwurm will begin with a single infected word, which they feel compelled to repeat until it loses meaning, often shoehorning it into sentences that do not require it. The patient is unaware of this quirk and will express disbelief when this is pointed out to them. This spreads steadily to other, often-used words in their repertoire, taking anywhere from three days to three weeks. By the time the patient becomes aware of it their vocabulary has deteriorated greatly, and they are often forced to cobble together still-existing words to form lost complex phrases. (e.g. “water tower” becomes “tall wet on metal stick”)This is the most likely period to transmit an infection, though infection is a possibility at any other point as proved by Langdon. Past this phase, the patient will begin visualizing the malady as an actual, physical worm. Curiously, descriptions vary little between sufferers, this is often utilized in the detection of patients faking the disease.
Further study of the disease was curtailed when its discoverer, Alfred Langdon, tragically contracted the illness. Much like the Curies, Dr. Langdon was canonized as a victim of his own research and the disease was named after him. Oddly enough, he was the only person on record to be afflicted solely by the worm, without a pre-existing disorder. This is supported by the fact that he fought the infection for a number of years, far exceeding the incubation time of his patients. More cases of so-called “healthy” infections have been recorded since. Some researchers suggest that Langdon’s infection was the catalyst the worm required to adapt to minds not predisposed towards compulsion.