• Question: what causes that girl that is 16 but only looks like 2. The girl frozen in time, to look like that.

    Asked by mmmmmmmm to Alex, Amy, Andy, Georgia, Ollie on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Amy Reeve

      Amy Reeve answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi mmmmmm

      I think you are talking about the girl who has progeria. People with this disease tend to be smaller than average and age normally until they are infants but then seem to stop ageing. However in lots of ways they are undergoing accelerated ageing. They have a loss of hair, they develop wrinkles, they loose body fat and muscle and have joint problems, just like the elderly. This disease is caused by a mutation in a gene that is important for maintaining the structure of our cells nucleus. for more information see http://hayleyspage.com/.

      is this the person you were talking about? hope this helps.

    • Photo: Andy MacLeod

      Andy MacLeod answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Progeria is caused by a new mutation during the embryo’s development. It casuses a change in one of the molecules that helps organise DNA in the nucleus.

      While it is a genetic disease, in that it’s caused by a change in a gene, it’s not passed on from the parents DNA in the same way that a lot of genetic diseases are.