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Doctors Baffled, Intrigued by Girl Who Doesn't Age



Years Pass, but Brooke Greenberg Remains a Toddler. No One Can Explain How or Why.

By Bob Brown

ABCnews.com

Brooke Greenberg is the size of an infant, with the mental capacity of a toddler.

She turned 16 in January.



"Why doesn't she age?" Howard Greenberg, 52, asked of his daughter. "Is she the fountain of youth?"

Such questions are why scientists are fascinated by Brooke. Among the many documented instances of children who fail to grow or develop in some way, Brooke's case may be unique, according to her doctor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine pediatrician Lawrence Pakula, in Baltimore.

"Many of the best-known names in medicine, in their experience ... had not seen anyone who matched up to Brooke," Pakula said. "She is always a surprise."

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.


Brooke Greenberg - The Girl That Never Ages



If the video won't play please report the problem by clicking here.





Scientists wonder if Brooke Greenberg, now 16, will help point the way to
new discoveries
about the genetics of aging. Pictured from left to right
on Brooke's 12th birthday are sister

Caitlin, 15; Brooke; sister Emily, 18; mom Melanie Greenberg; and sister Carly, 9.
"We love her just the way she is," said Melanie Greenberg.
"We don't want to change her."




Brooke at 3 years old. "Why doesn't she age?" Howard Greenberg
asked of his daughter. "Is she the fountain of youth?"




Brooke, 3, right, with younger sister Carly, 1. Among the many documented instances
of children who fail to grow or develop in some way, Brooke's case may be unique,
according to her doctor, Dr. Lawrence Pakula, a Johns Hopkins pediatrician.




Three sisters: Caitlin, 4; Emily, 8; and Brooke, 1. "She looks like a 6-month-old,
but she kind of has a personality of a 16-year-old," Caitlin said of Brooke.
"Sometimes we joke about how she rebels."




Brooke at 13 with her younger sister Carly, 10, who said it no longer seems strange
to have an older sister who is still essentially an infant.
"As I got older, she was just like another little sister to me," she said.





Pictured clockwise are Brooke, 7; Emily, 13; Caitlin, 10; and Carly, 4.
"To go to a swimming pool for the summer, or belong to a summer club ...
we tried all those things, and it's lacking something," said mom Melanie Greenberg
(not pictured). "Brooke's not there. We're not a family without Brooke."




The girl who doesn't age: This slide and the next two show Brooke with her sister Carly,
growing up. Here Brooke is 8 and Carly 5.




Brooke, 12, and Carly, 9




Brooke, 16, and Carly, 13




At Brooke's Bat Mitzvah.

"Brooke is the nucleus of our family," said dad Howard Greenberg. "What if Brooke holds
the secret to aging? We'd like to find out. We'd like to help people. Everybody's here for a
reason. Maybe this is why Brooke is here."




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