Brooke Greenberg's 'Peter Pan' genes might hold key to everlasting youth

Brooke GreenbergSince the dawn of time, one of mankind's quests has been the reverse ageing, to preserve the vitality of youth. And one woman's tragic may allow researchers to figure out the secret the everlasting youth. Brooke Greenberg's genetic make-up, a 20-year-old who stopped growing after she turned 4 both mentally and physically might hold the key. Brooke passed away recently, but there's belief that studying her genes could help explain why she didn't age like other people. Scientists now hope they can harness the powers of her mystery condition, known only as Syndrome X, to find the key to eternal youth.

Dr Eric Schadt, who is studying Brooke's DNA and blood samples, told the Independent: 'Understanding the causes of Brooke's condition could provide insights into key development and ageing processes, which could lead to novel ways to increase longevity, and reduce age-related disorders.'

However, Brooke spent the better part of her life suffering from many chronic health conditions and experts fear that they were caused by the same unknown factor that caused her to be ageless. Only if the genetic mutation that caused these agelessness is isolated would scientists even consider utilising the method to try and heal other people who suffer from ailments like cancer.

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Dr Richard Walker, who studied her illness for many years, said: 'If you can slow (the ageing) process in people with genetic markers for say, breast cancer, then we might be able to give them a little more quality of life before the onset of the expression of those negative genes or find a cure for the disease itself. 'Genetic agelessness is improbable, but not impossible,' added Dr Walker.

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