The 17-Year-Old Toddler

Sometime between Brooke Greenberg’s first and second birthdays, the Maryland girl suffered a series of unexplained medical emergencies. Born healthy, it slowly became clear to her parents Melanie and Howard that she wasn’t developing normally.

In fact, for the most part, she stopped developing all together.

Now 17  years old, she’s only 30 inches tall. She babbles like a six-month-old and still has her baby teeth.

Though she now has bones of a 10-year-old, Brooke Greenberg hasn’t aged in years.

Doctors had no idea what was wrong with Brooke when she was a toddler and they named the problem Syndrome X. A decade-and-a-half later, they still don’t fully understand what happened, but studies of her DNA seem to show that she may have defects in the genes that are in charge of the aging process.

Which is all very exciting because the little girl/young woman may hold the key to the fountain of youth. Studies of Brooke’s DNA could eventually reveal how to slow the aging process and show the way towards treatments of diseases linked with old age. Or perhaps help us all to live longer.

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