Girl Who Doesn’t Grow Up May Provide Aging Insights (Video)

First Posted: Jan 16, 2013 01:28 PM EST

At first glance, Brooke Greenberg looks like any other child. She's small with wispy brown hair and bright brown eyes. She does not walk or talk, but she happily rides in her stroller when her mother takes her clothes shopping. When someone asks her age, her mother usually answers with months-not years.

Brooke, however, is not a child. She is 20 years old, though she does not seem to have aged since she was four or five. She weighs just 16 pounds, is two feet, six inches tall, and is thought to have the mental capacity of a toddler.

Her condition has left doctors baffled, according to Unable to properly define exactly what has kept Brooke from growing, they have labeled it "Syndrome X." She has been found to have no apparent irregularities in her endocrine system, or any large chromosomal abnormalities.

Her family continues to treat Brooke like any other child, and insist that she does not need to be cured. Some researchers, however, believe that Brooke's condition could reveal insights into the aging process. Geneticists are currently sequencing Brooke's genome with the hopes that it could eventually lead researchers to find new treatments to age-related disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

In the meantime, Brooke continues to receive media attention as her parents and younger sister care for her. See video here.

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