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'The Thin Gene' Helps Fight Obesity?

We're all feeling some type of food guilt after Thanksgiving weekend. It's a holiday where binge eating is encouraged...unless you're overweight, then you'll get a series of mixed messages: Eat, but not too much; side eye when you reach for seconds like everyone else. But what if you have to eat constantly every day to survive? When you have neonatal progeroid syndrome. you are truly eating to live.

A profile about neonatal progeroid syndrome ran in the New York Times this Friday, profiling one patient's struggle living with the condition. Unable to put on weight, this mutation of the FBN1 gene effects the nose and eye, destroys the layer of fat under the skin, and interferes with the body’s ability to make the hormone asprosin, which regulates blood sugar. A person with neonatal progeroid syndrome doesn't experience hunger pangs but symptoms similar to hypoglycemia.

While the syndrome called "the thin gene," research for its treatment may also help combat obesity. Doctors hope that an artificial compound that blocks asprosin can reverse insulin resistance and weight gain (based on lab tests.) While the cure could help a lot more people than those effected by the syndrome, knowing what people have to endure while suffering with the illness makes one hope for a speedy recovery and cure for all.


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