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Doctors Baffled, Intrigued By Girl Who Doesn't Age

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the fountain-of-youth-or-maybe-it's-a-cataract dept.

Medicine 599

phyrebyrd writes "Brooke Greenberg is the size of an infant, with the mental capacity of a toddler. She turned 16 in January. Brooke hasn't aged in the conventional sense. Dr. Richard Walker of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, in Tampa, says Brooke's body is not developing as a coordinated unit, but as independent parts that are out of sync. She has never been diagnosed with any known genetic syndrome or chromosomal abnormality that would help explain why. Brooke's hair and her nails are the only two things that grow, Howard said. 'She has pajamas and outfits that are 10 or 12 years old,' he said."

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Check out TFA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482113)

Man, her sister Emily is HOT in a squirrel kind of way. I'd give her a couple fat nuts to chew on while eating out her mom.

Re:Check out TFA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482427)

Not only that, when this chick reaches the age of consent, she'll be able to write her own check. Think of the line of pervs that will queue up for a piece of that poon-tang! Ever wanted to fuck a little girl? Here's you chance without breaking the law!

Re:Check out TFA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482627)

And suddenly, the internet exploded

I don't have anything really smart to say (5, Insightful)

cml4524 (1520403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482191)

It just struck me reading that... it must really, REALLY suck being the first person to ever have a particular disease.

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (5, Funny)

BrightSpark (1578977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482245)

Oh, grow up!

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (0, Offtopic)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482289)

She has pajamas and outfits that are 10 or 12 years old

Me too! Sign me up for medical trials and show me the money!

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (5, Funny)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482583)

I bet they match the Star Wars sheets on your bed too.

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (0, Offtopic)

NickyGotz22 (1427691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482651)

Stains and all

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482323)

Except that you might get it named after. Not really much of a consolation though.

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (2, Insightful)

mg127 (1074701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482699)

Usually the doctor that "discovers" the disease has it named after him/her.

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (1, Insightful)

SIBM (1114319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482417)

What took this so long to hit the media? Must have been a slownewsday

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (4, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482833)

It just struck me reading that... it must really, REALLY suck being the first person to ever have a particular disease.

What if we have it backwards?

What if she is the first person not to have the disease we all have and that she is aging but really really slow?

So in 100 years she will have the body of an 18 year old?!

I mean if you think about it, old age is a disease.

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (4, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28483009)

Meh, she'd still accumulate cellular damage and die of cancer eventually. Heart disease would also still be a possibility.

She'd probably die at 85 of pancreatic cancer or something, but look good doing it.

Re:I don't have anything really smart to say (3, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28483033)

Right, because the body has no means of correcting cellular damage...

I bet it's lupus.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482237)

....

Re:I bet it's lupus.. (2, Funny)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482535)

It's never lupus

Re:I bet it's lupus.. (5, Funny)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482791)

Except for the one time where it was lupus.

The Fountain of Youth. (3, Interesting)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482255)

She must've drank from it by mistake. This is why Moms should be attentive of their children!

Seriously, age is a really interesting field to me, especially cognitive age. I really like how there are stages in raising a child that, if followed honestly, usually lead to children becoming very capable, healthy adults. What's even more interesting is what happens to a child should the development of any of those stages be tampered with.

Re:The Fountain of Youth. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482713)

Back when I was younger I produced a few 'fountains of youth'. All over my girlfriends face.

Re:The Fountain of Youth. (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482807)

I really like how there are stages in raising a child that, if followed honestly, usually lead to children becoming very capable, healthy adults.

citation needed

Be Careful what you wish for! (1, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482275)

This has all the markings of a fable where someone wishes to never get old. It is a very curious case indeed though. I wonder what the cause of diminished mental capacity might be?

Re:Be Careful what you wish for! (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482341)

The brain being so small? There are still limitations of size. It's not so much diminished as it is not developed yet.

Re:Be Careful what you wish for! (3, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482685)

Mental maturity also has implications in the growth and development of the brain, neural pathways being formed, other changes. If those things never happen, BAM, infant forever.

Very interesting. I'd wager its a bunch of hormone triggers never triggering, which is usually the root cause of age/size related stuff. I knew a kid when I was younger who lacked certain hormones in the correct proportions, so while he was my age mentally, and in actual years, he was about 5 years behind me in physical development, and had to take hormone shots.

Re:Be Careful what you wish for! (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482517)

The diminished mental capacity comes from teh fact that as kids grow up from birth to their teens there is a lot of mental development int he brain that goes on. For her it is stopped at infancy.

Re:Be Careful what you wish for! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482647)

Or, looking at it the other way - we are much more determined by "development program" in our DNA than we'd like to think.

Re:Be Careful what you wish for! (3, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482915)

Well, now, there are two aspects to this: brain growth, and learning.

A human's brain is pretty close to adult size and mass by the age of 5. You can say that this is the scaffold on which the remaining 5% of mass growth is built on. But more importantly, the cells (both in that initial 95% and subsequent 5%) are growing connections to each other, and these connections seem to be based on learning. White matter also is slowly replaced to a small degree with gray matter; white matter is "wiring" between active cells of gray matter "processors".

This may explain, to some extent, why the (physiologically very) young lady in TFA is functioning intellectually like a toddler: her uneven growth affects the basic brain development you'd expect in early childhood (the 95% mass mentioned earlier), so the brain lacks structural complexity to grow "learning connections". I suppose restricted brain growth is fortunate, in a sense; if her cranium hasn't grown, age-appropriate brain growth would be bad.

IANADoctor. This is just how the described phenomena match up in my mind with the little childhood development (psychology/anatomy) studies and basic physiology I've learned here and there. YMMV.

Re:Be Careful what you wish for! (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482773)

I wonder what the cause of diminished mental capacity might be?

      While I am not aware of the particulars of this case, as a doctor I can state that myelinization of nerve cells inside the brain is what is believed to contribute to increased cognitive ability. Babies are born with roughly the number of neurons (nerve cell) they will have for the rest of their lives, however these neurons are not fully coated in myelin. Myelin increases the efficiency and conductivity of a neuron, and is synthesized by cells surrounding the neuron. However this production takes time - a few years in the case of neurons outside the brain - which explains why babies are also clumsy. Myelinization of the brain itself takes roughly 20 years.

      I suspect that this patient isn't producing myelin, among other things, and therefore will never reach her cognitive potential.

Surgeon General's warning (5, Funny)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482277)

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon general, women should not drink from the fountain of youth during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.

Re:Surgeon General's warning (0, Offtopic)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482763)

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon general, women should not drink from the fountain of youth during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.

The keyboard of my laptop hates you.

She looks retarded ... (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482293)

And it appears that, at 16, she still has the brains and skill set of an infant ... this is going to sound cruel, but without any more details, it sounds like a good argument for post-birth abortion. I mean, what's the point? At least "The Strange Case of Benjamin Button" had SOME growth of character.

Re:She looks retarded ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482379)

...it sounds like a good argument for post-birth abortion

I think "euthanasia" is the word you are looking for.

Youth in Asia (-1, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482489)

I think "euthanasia" is the word you are looking for.

They already have post-birth abortion for youth in Asia. The one-child policy of the People's Republic of China combined with a cultural preference for boys leads to baby girls getting killed (wink wink nudge nudge) just for having a vagOOO instead of a pOnOs.

Re:She looks retarded ... (1, Flamebait)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482563)

Nah - post-birth abortion. Euthenasia implies a "mercy killing" to end suffering. Brooke isn't suffering - there's "nobody home", really. An infant's brain, with no chance of growing, learning, etc. Even the family dog has more potential.

Re:She looks retarded ... (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482871)

I guess you would have tossed out Flemming's "Mould Juice" too?

Re:She looks retarded ... (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482421)

I _really_ don't think her parents would agree with that.

Anyway, the only reason you don't kill an infant is that he/she will grow up? If he doesn't develop, you should kill him?

Re:She looks retarded ... (0, Troll)

Satanicolas (1374761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482493)

yeas and eat it to

Re:She looks retarded ... (0, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482543)

Anyway, the only reason you don't kill an infant is that he/she will grow up? If he doesn't develop, you should kill him?

No, but in this case, the child is being used as a human TOY for the parents. It is not a viable human in terms of what humans are normally for. It is its parents toy.

Re:She looks retarded ... (1, Flamebait)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482679)

Even that I do agree with you, I don't think that's a reason for killing the girl at all.

Re:She looks retarded ... (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482863)

Ah, so we should judge humans and their viability by some sort of golden standard which you posess?

Nah, my friend: a kid is her parents property. They should do whatever they want to do with the particular set of stuff that happened to them.

Re:She looks retarded ... (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482921)

I got the sense that she's more like the family pet than a toy ... but yes, it's sad.

And for all those who downmodded this sort of discussion, it shows more concern with form over function, a lack of understanding about what really makes us human. and/or a knee-jerk reaction to anything that doesn't conform to your initial perception of "don't harm the cute baby." It's not a "cute baby" - it's a grotesque parody of a human, with no potential, no real personality (the brain has not changed since infanthood - she can't talk, and reacts the same as an infant to outside stimuli).

About the only positive thing to say at this point is that baby diapers are cheaper than Depends.

Her bones are aging at an almost normal rate, so there's no question of her living to be centuries old, and "just developing slower". Maybe they can transplant the genes into "Chicken Little".

Re:She looks retarded ... (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482939)

Anyway, the only reason you don't kill an infant is that he/she will grow up?

Yes, this is why our society has established a taboo around killing infants. Are you seriously arguing that there is any other reason for not killing infants?
I'm not trying to downplay the important of that reason, but yeah, it's the reason we don't kill babies. It's the reason we consider them people instead of property: they have the potential to turn into people.

I'm too much of an optimist to go slaughtering babies with potentially curable problems just because they're inconvenient, but to deny "we don't kill babies because babies turn into people" as an absolute fact (which stands completely by itself without the support of any other reasons) is beyond stupid.

Re:She looks retarded ... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482461)

In this case, the point is that she may hold the key to help cure the disease known as aging.

Re:She looks retarded ... (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482503)

post-birth abortion

Uh, in most places we call that murder, or at least euthanasia. The argument for abortion is usually that it's just cells and not a baby yet, not that killing babies is okay.

Your Honor I was just performing a post-birth abortion! Not killing him for sleeping with my wife! Post-birth abortion!

Re:She looks retarded ... (2, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482605)

I was thinking the same thing but this is a bit different.

I was actually expecting to hear someone say something like "Call me when she's 18..." While some might say that's horrible or gross or whatever, I have to say that it is some kind of irony considering the generally arbitrary rules and laws we have regarding age and eligibility.

Re:She looks retarded ... (5, Informative)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482669)

Regardless of age, there are laws against sex with people with diminished mental capacity, who cannot give consent.

OH well, it's a shame Jackson Died (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482311)

I mean, c'mon! she was going to be legal soon enough.

Re:OH well, it's a shame Jackson Died (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482979)

Yes, but Jackson was into cute boys. She wouldn't have qualified.

Because this has to be said (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482313)

I heard Micheal Jackson was thrilled to death by this.

Ok granted this is a sick thought but... (-1, Flamebait)

Bearded Frog (1562519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482331)

When she turns 18 would she become technically like a child molester's dream girl?

Re:Ok granted this is a sick thought but... (1)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482399)

I doubt she'd be able to give consent. They wouldn't be a child molester, just a run-of-the-mill rapist.

She seems to grow (1, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482345)

Just very slowly. In the pictures it looks like features are developing but it's on a very, very slow pace. Maybe she might live to be 400 or 800 if her bone structure will remain supportive over time and her cells don't stop dividing like they do with 'normal' aging. I think the parents might already have tried it but she could probably learn to speak or at least communicate over the years - the brain of a toddler is very open to it (unless her brain plasticity has been aging).

Re:She seems to grow (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482515)

The article says that her brain has hardly changed at all - it's still an infant's brain. If you read the article, you'll see that the parents and those around her who claim to see changes or improvements in her ability to communicate are projecting their wishes, same as people do with their pets - except that pets CAN grow and learn. Brooke can't.

Imagine if your brain suddenly never changes. You can never learn a new thing, remember anything from even 5 minutes ago, etc. Before the movie "50 First Dates", there was a sci-fi short story that posited this, with horrifying consequences. It would be the worse than having Alzheimers.

Re:She seems to grow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482723)

Well, from our point of view, it must suck to be that person. But are people with, say, Alzheimer's aware of what they are missing out on? We project our own fear onto those people, and don't realize that it is impossible to know whether or not the afflicted are enjoying life, unaware of their disadvantages.

Re:She seems to grow (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482567)

And Christians everywhere come up with a new excuse for Noah being 500 years old.

Re:She seems to grow (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482637)

Any learning requires the pruning and changing of connections - this isn't happening, so Brooke can't learn. What you see is a classic case of "it is what it is". In anyone else, it would be called congenital severe mental retardation - a 16-year-old with the mind of an infant. Read the story - this isn't a sister or daughter - it's the family pet.

Re:She seems to grow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482751)

I think you (and the authors of this story) have it backward. She's not growing or developing, but she *is* aging. If she makes it to 60 she'll be a wrinkly old baby and she won't live longer than a normal person. Her condition is much more about growth than it is about aging.

Re:She seems to grow (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482813)

I don't know about you, but I would not want to be 16 for 30 years...

Re:She seems to grow (1)

had3l (814482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482849)

I'm sorry, but scientifically that makes no sense. You die mainly because of cell damage accumulation (although there are other factors involved). Even if her mutation is making her somehow age slower, it doesn't mean that her cells will magically accumulate less damage.

Re:She seems to grow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482967)

..and yet adults with damaged cells are able to produce cells that turn into a baby with no damage. It's all software.

No, she is aging too (5, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482961)

Some of her body part , like bone structure, are 10 years old. Thus it sounds doubtful she will reach the multi-centenarian age you cited. They tried to communicate with her , tried to teach her speaking but it failed. Anyway there is a rearrangement of the pharynx/larynx at the venerable age of 1/2 years old which is needed to be able to physically speak. Without it you can't. Maybe a doctor/biologist can chime in.

Wow...great stuff (4, Insightful)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482349)

Wow...that is absolutely amazing...and she is so fortunate to have a family that sees the situation so positively...and who supports related research by the scientific community to see if there is a potential broader benefit here. Frankly, it must be tough for them at times, but I am sure that my wife would *love* it if our little girl never grew up. Thank goodness her sisters are supportive, because they will most likely need to take care of her in the future after her parents advance in age. Great stuff.

Re:Wow...great stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482793)

I don't know your wife, however, I am fairly certain your sureness is misplaced.

Re:Wow...great stuff (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482823)

Great, or sad, depending on your point of view.

Re:Wow...great stuff (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482877)

I am sure that my wife would *love* it if our little girl never grew upPerhaps, but I think most parents dream of seeing their children grow up and experience the joys of life.

Failure to age or failure to grow? (5, Informative)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482371)

Reaching adulthood and then preserving the body of a 20-year-old forever is one thing. This is quite something else.

It is not so much failure to age, as failure to grow/mature. It remains to be seen whether her abnormality will grant longer life span in practice.

Mod parent up (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482575)

Aging is the result of accumulated bio-chemical damage and degeneration. While failure to grow does have some beneficial effect from on biological aging--e.g. both calorie restriction and growth-hormone deficiency appear to enhance lifespan, at least in mice--it is quite likely that this girl's condition was simply misreported.

Re:Failure to age or failure to grow? (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482903)

according to the news, he already developed a lot of nasty disease, and even had a brain surgery. details are scarce, but longer lifespan as if living a slow life seems a remote option.

Re:Failure to age or failure to grow? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28483027)

But "failure to grow" is so much less catchy than "failure to age". "Failure to age" implies "live forever!" "Failure to grow" implies "live a normal or truncated lifespan as an under-developed individual who requires special care for most or all of that time." And since this is a kdawson article, you don't need to look beyond the headline to realize the main point is sensationalist hype without a shred of scientific basis.

There is no reason to believe that failure to grow implies anything other than a normal or, more probably, a truncated lifespan. Humans are already tuned up, for obvious evolutionary reasons, to live far longer than a normal mammal (normal mammals live about a billion of their own heartbeats, humans live twice that.) It is very unlikely that a random genetic anomaly will extend the viable span of a system that is already highly optimized for longevity.

My bet: she'll be dead in a few years, early 30's at the latest.

Brooke is a deviation (2, Funny)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482397)

Her body is not developing as a co-ordinated unit because her environment (humanity) isn't either. These kind of deviations within nature will continue to become more apparent as humans evolve. As long as we continue to grow egoistically, separated from one another, we will be as cancer cells rather than living tissue - working for the benefit of ourselves rather than each other. We are all complicit in her abnormality.

Re:Brooke is a deviation (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482525)

Dude. Lay off the weed.

Re:Brooke is a deviation (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482621)

well said.

Re:Brooke is a deviation (1)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482635)

I smoke cause it gives me knowledge!

Re:Brooke is a deviation (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482829)

No, no. Weed can make you think that far out. It ought to be the acid.

Re:Brooke is a deviation (5, Funny)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482873)

Man, I've been through so many drugs I've almost become a Christian.

Re:Brooke is a deviation (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482901)

And soldiers die in Iraq because the US is not sufficiently anti-gay, right?

Re:Brooke is a deviation (5, Funny)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482959)

No, soldiers die because they bleed too much.

Re:Brooke is a deviation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28483031)

far out, man

Soo.... (-1, Redundant)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482439)

So in 2 years does that mean she is legal? /I keed I keed.

Re:Soo.... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482739)

You kid, but this extreme case highlights the stupidity of using 'age' to determine someone's ability to make life-changing decisions.

Re:Soo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482755)

Insightful?? I know its a joke... but insightful?

Re:Soo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482781)

So in 2 years does that mean she is legal? /I keed I keed.

I suppose. Soon she'll be targeted by freaks looking to make legal kiddy pron.

Re:Soo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482801)

WTF? Insightful?!?!?!

Sick bastards.

Re:Soo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482875)

You bring up a good point. If someone photos her in the tub, is it child pornography?
Granted she's likely going to be declared incompetent and be in someone's custody for the foreseeable future, but it's an odd thing to consider. Most of the laws these days state they just have to look like a minor, and in this case she doesn't even qualify as a teenager. I think this is one of those instances that prove trying to put an age number for rights is a bad idea. Some people mature at different rates, emotionally and physically. Should a 30 year old downs syndrome patient who doesn't know any better than a child really come out of the umbrella of protection minors have? Should a 16 year old who grew up on the streets after her parents died and has been forced to mature and fend for herself not be allowed to get a tatoo, open a bank account (assuming she had a penny or two), etc. This case is really an extreme illustration of the varying nature of people. I don't believe we should all be handed licenses at 16, sure there's a test, but maturity and the ability to judge proper behavior in a vehicle has no bearing on one's ability to physically control the car. This young girl could in theory apply for a license- but obviously is in no capacity to do so.

Just musing/just sayin' is all....

Does she have an agent? (0, Redundant)

PumpkinDog (1253988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482455)

T-2 year 'til legal child pornography.

How old are those clothes? (1, Redundant)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482465)

"She has pajamas and outfits that are 10 or 12 years old,"

This is not normal! I can't keep my kids to make an outfit last for 10 or 12 months... sometimes the lifespan if clothing (especially blue jeans) can be measured in weeks.

Re:How old are those clothes? (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482857)

"She has pajamas and outfits that are 10 or 12 years old,"

This is not normal! I can't keep my kids to make an outfit last for 10 or 12 months... sometimes the lifespan if clothing (especially blue jeans) can be measured in weeks.

Are you kidding me? I've used hand-me downs from my uncles, parents, brothers... stuff that has lasted forever (and yes, it was even more awfully outmoded than the usual hand-me-downs).

Ripping clothing would be punished with a spanking you'd never forget.

To this day, I have stuff that lasts 10 years, easily. I'm amazed (and envious) of US people being able to buy new clothing every year.

Re:How old are those clothes? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28483041)

She's obviously not active enough to wear out clothing. Think "Chia Pet", or "Toy Doll", not human toddler.

No aging also means no maturing. Apparently the brain hasn't changed much since birth, which means not much learning has occurred - learning requires changes in the brain. Thing of it as having Alzheimers at birth - you never retain anything new. How can you even develop a personality? In this respect, she's more like a plant than an animal. Even the family dog or cat can do better.

Thank God for small mercies (-1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482557)

Michael Jackson didn't get a chance to invite her to Neverland.

this is new... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482601)

life never seems to run out of completely new ways to mindfuck us, does it?

Similar story (3, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482657)

Years ago I read about this girl who was 19 and had never entered puberty (she had developed normally otherwise). Turns out there was a tumor blocking her pituitary gland. I'm sure they've done hundreds of tests so it can't be something like that but I was just reminded of that story.

Not the only case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482707)

Apparently, she is not the only one.

http://blogdatvdatvrecord.blogspot.com/2009/06/bebe-de-29-anos-do-ceara-o-reporter.html

But here in Brazil, some people intent to make money out of the case... Dirty Politics.

A less tabloid-y source (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482775)

Perhaps I am the only one bothered by how abcnews.com has become a tabloid; here is the MSNBC story for the same [msn.com] , nicely packaged into a single page without news on people living in trees.

High school girls (3, Funny)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482805)

High school girls stay the same age as well. Giggity giggity.

the answer is in the abc article (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482825)

Doctors recommended growth hormone therapy early in Brooke's life, but the treatment produced no results.

Howard Greenberg recalled the follow-up visit to the endocrinologist. "We took her back in six months, and the doctor looked at us and said, 'Why didn't you give Brooke the growth hormones?' And I said, 'We gave Brooke the growth hormones. We gave her everything you told us to do.' And Brooke didn't put on a pound, an ounce; she didn't grow an inch."

not that i know a damn thing about endocrinology, but i would speculate that this failed therapy suggest that, as we all have receptors for various hormones, her body has no such receptors for HGH. if someone is born genetically male, but has no male secondary characteristics, then either:
1. his body produces no testosterone,
2. his body produces testosterone, but his body doesn't react to it

i would say that this girl, uh, young woman, has an incredibly rare, unique mutation: insensitivity to human growth hormone. it would explain all of her symptoms

Stil can't have sex (-1, Flamebait)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482977)

For all you slashdot perverts, no this doesn't mean you can have sex with her. People of need to be mature mental state, as well as physical state before consent can be given.

yoda she is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28483003)

now all we need is the press release about light sabers

Hmm (5, Funny)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28483043)

She has pajamas and outfits that are 10 or 12 years old,' he said.

That's nothing, I work in an office with some programmers who haven't changed their outfits in over twenty years.

Yeah really... (0, Troll)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28483049)

So all this has been under wraps for 16 years?!?

I call all this bull and raise them a handful of shit.

Right disease, wrong time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28483051)

It's a shame she didn't stop aging -at- sixteen. Then I'd be pretty intrigued too.

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