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    • CommentAuthorLani
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2009
    Crazy story:

    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.

    In a recent paper for the journal "Mechanisms of Ageing and Development," Walker and his co-authors, who include Pakula and All Children's Hospital (St. Petersburg, Fla.) geneticist Maxine Sutcliffe chronicled a baffling range of inconsistencies in Brooke's aging process. She still has baby teeth at 16, for instance. And her bone age is estimated to be more like 10 years old.

    Article here. Discuss.
  1.  (6219.2)
    That's a really interesting condition and there's a whole lot of questions in there that aren't even touched on, probably because they can't be answered. If she doesn't age, how many years will she live as a baby? Do they really think, if they can find the aging process in her genetics, that they could limit how that knowledge will be used? What does a baby think about for 16 years? Etc.
  2.  (6219.3)
    My first mental image upon reading this was Dick Cheney trying to puncture this kid with a straw to drain her dry.
    • CommentAuthor/
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009 edited
    Fascinating. We must find out how this happened, so that we may create a Whitechapel army of undying clone soldiers.

    ..but seriously, I wonder about her psychological development. It says that she has the mental capacity of a toddler, but there must have been something going on in her head over the years, like James mentioned. I would love to give her a box of crayons and some paper, just to see what she'd come out with.
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    @orwells_eyes, ... <3.
  3.  (6219.6)
    I passed this on to a friend of mine and unfortunatley the first thing he said was 'this is a peadophiles wet dream'.
    How old is she legally?
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    hmm...well, they've already gotten close to stopping aging with stem cells, this is another big gooey wad of information that scientists can do all sorts of amazing things with that they probably shouldn't be doing in the first place.

    So...sixteen years and we're just hearing about her? I wonder what they already have developed and learned that they just won't tell us about yet.
    • CommentAuthor/
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009 edited
    @ pintsizedcat - Lol, that's genuinely disturbing. I hadn't thought of that. She's sixteen now. Please God don't let me ever see that happen on the IDNNTSTI... :o
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    I would assume she's less than a year old legally, considering that she's not in any position to give consent, nor even remotely sexually developed. Aaaand this subject makes my skin crawl. Imagine that.

    It really is fascinating, and like Shane says, I wonder what she would express with some crayons...
  4.  (6219.10)
    Well legally she's whatever age she is on paper. But her parents will have her legal and medical powers because she can't exercise them.

    The consent issue is just a one way ticket to being sent to prison for rape/abuse/crimes that get you shivved in prison.
    • CommentAuthorEthanH
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    If *only* shivved.
  5.  (6219.12)

    Shall we share a double in hell?

    She's non compos mentis, I believe the article says she has the mental functioning of an infant. It would be much the same as someone with severe brain damage, essentially, rape.

    And yes, Arse eels with shivs.
  6.  (6219.13)
    All this kind of reverse aging talk makes for an odd futuristic society where you have those obsessed with looking like infants. Then you have the fetishists who are obessed with infants (paedophiles), but in such a society where you have someone with a fully formed mindset who looks like an infant such things would be legal.

    That, is very disturbing.
    • CommentAuthorLani
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009 edited
    Yeah, I'd like to think that studying her genome etc. could lead to some amazing advancements in health and medicine, but we all know all of that would be completely eclipsed by the beauty industry having a field day.

    What I find especially strange is the idea that she has been resistant to all forms of therapy and treatment. Growth hormones that have no effect? That's pretty bizarre. I also can't help but feel slightly skeptical of the whole thing, wondering if it's a really well laid out prank or something.
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    Huh. Toddler-characteristic behaviour and no speech in sixteen years; that should make a whole heap of linguists, anthropologists and related brainscanning trades act like an anthill on fire.
    • CommentAuthorMementoMori
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009 edited

    That is the single aspect of her condition that most intrigues me. Whatever is causing her not to age is also preventing her neurological system to develop new synapses and neural circuits that would allow her brain to become more complex, flexible and adaptable. If this is not a hoax it has the potential to become an amazing neurological case study.
  7.  (6219.17)
    It might be that her brain is aging just fine, but that she doesn't have the ability at that 'age' to express her inner voice. Her physical medium of speech, motor skills, etc is what is limiting her as opposed to her ability to learn and think.
    • CommentAuthorMementoMori
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009 edited

    I thought about that. That maybe her soft palate or her vocal cords were not developed properly, impending her to develop speech. But if that was the case she would still be able to, for example, put letter blocks together to express herself. There is no indication in the article that she is able to do that. I'm assuming that, whatever is causing her condition, is slowing down every aspect of her development, including neurological.
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2009
    It does seem odd to me that she would be unable to learn anything, and certainly does further link learning directly to body-age. It's amazing, really. The whole thing baffles me. Is there a thinking, sixteen-year-old girl in there who simply cannot express herself? Would she not be extremely frustrated and depressed about it? Would we then not see some signs of that? I'm assuming she's still able to express basic desires and feelings as any baby would...

    Is she still on milk? Can she process solids?
  8.  (6219.20)
    Scepticality is my first reaction as well. Not least the question "why are we hearing about this now, only when she's 16?".
    I'm not going to pretend to know an iota of what I'd need to in order to say anything meaningful if this is actually genuine.