Brooke Greenberg is old enough to drive a car and next year will be old enough to vote — but at 16lb in weight and just 30in tall, she is still the size of a one-year-old.
Until recently she had been regarded as a medical oddity but a preliminary study of her DNA has suggested her failure to grow could be linked to defects in the genes that make the rest of humanity grow old.
If confirmed, the research could give scientists a fresh understanding of ageing and even suggest new therapies for diseases linked to old age.
“We think that Brooke’s condition presents us with a unique opportunity to understand the process of ageing,” said Richard Walker, a professor at the University of South Florida School of Medicine, who is leading the research team.
“We think that she has a mutation in the genes that control her ageing and development so that she appears to have been frozen in time.
“If we can compare her genome to the normal version then we might be able to find those genes and see exactly what they do and how to control them.”
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New York Times