Most healthy adults live long, active and hopefully happy lives, and then pass away as adorable geriatric old people. But the process was somewhat reversed for Brooke Greenberg. This 20-year-old was diagnosed with a mysterious condition that prevented her from aging, which means she lived life in a crib and was about the size of a 5-year-old.
Brooke has been under the care of physicians since she was born one month premature, weighing just 4 pounds. Her parents hoped she'd catch up to other children her same age, but even her little sister learned to walk, talk and develop before her.
Brooke's mysterious condition lead to orthopedic issues, respiratory problems and stomach ulcers — yet her parents and siblings don't have any developmental abnormalities of their own. After 20 years caring for Brooke, scientists and doctors still have no idea what her condition is, and refer to it as Syndrome X.
Sadly, Brooke died on October 24, and her parents have consented to having her DNA sequenced and researched by the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Her genes have already been inserted into fruit flies in order to track their development. Hopefully, researchers will be able to get to the bottom of her mysterious aging condition.