A few days ago I came across an incredibly interesting and thought provoking article about a girl who even though she was chronologically 16 years
old, still had the body and mental capacity of an 11 month old toddler. For all intents and purposes, she had not visibly aged during her entire 16
year life !
Here's a New Scientist article:
One hypothesis is that she may either lack, or have a damaged/mutated version of what they refer to as the "Master Ageing Gene". Richard Walker, a
researcher from the University of South Florida College of Medicine, hypothesises that the cause is disruption of an as-yet unidentified gene, or
genes, that hold the key to ageing
by orchestrating how an organism matures to adulthood, reproduces, then gradually ages
This girls unfortunate condition got me to thinking about my personal situation and human ageing in general, and whether there are others with a
similar predisposition to retarded or slowed ageing but not as extreme as hers. Could it be possible that there are people out there who even though
they are considered "elderly" e.g. in their 60's, 70's or older but who still look and act physically much, much younger.
I'll use myself as an example ...
I'm 61 years old and essentially in excellent health. Outwardly, I can easily pass for a 35 year old, have youthfull looking skin texture and muscle
tone and no wrinkles or any other signs associated with "old age" and have retained a full head of hair. In fact, I have 2 thirty year old sons and
I'm occasionally mistaken as their "brother" instead of their father !
I have never had a broken bone or any serious disease except for normal ones such as measles, chicken pox, colds, flu, etc.
In fact, whenever I do get a cold or flu, manage to recover in a few short days and never get to the stage where I'm incapacitated or bedridden.
There was one incident about 25 years ago, when I came down with the flu but still went into work. But whilst at work, I started to feel absolutely
lousy, feverish and miserable to say the least and basically felt so bad that I had to go home. I got myself into bed around 1pm, had a bit of a sleep
and when I woke up around 5pm, had recovered so well that I barely had any remaining symptoms and essentially felt fine.
Even a case of chicken pox about 10 years ago, had little effect on me except for a rash. I didn't feel ill at all and except for remaining home for
a number of days, hardly noticed that I had contracted it.
I have no arthritis and can walk, run, exert myself and basically do everything that I could when I was in my 20's. So as far as I can tell, nothing
has really changed or deteriorated in my physical (or mental !) capabilities.
Anyway, enough about me and back to the reason for this thread ...
After having read that article and considered my personal situation, I'm now simply wondering and curious if anyone else here on ATS (even though ATS
is only a small microcosm of the real world) looks and feels SIGNIFICANTLY "younger" than their "chronological" age ?
Perhaps this "condition" is more common then we think ?
[edit on 24-8-2009 by vita eternus]