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Three-year-old’s rare condition prevents aging

Last updated on March 30, 2017

She looks like a healthy 9-month-old child but she’s actually a 3-year-old girl. Layla Qualls, an Oklahoma girl, has been diagnosed with Syndrome X, a condition that prevents aging.

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles say that Layla is one of only seven children in the world diagnosed with Syndrome X. They have been studying the extremely rare condition in hopes of finding the genetic blueprints to find out which genes are slowing down the aging process.

After studying Layla, researchers found that the blood of children with Syndrome X does not appear younger than that of a normal child, however, research will not stop there.

Dr. Steve Horvath told, “It would have been nice to say we found a footprint of the mechanism that could explain that condition. As a researcher you need to continue searching.”

Layla’s mother, Felicia Qualls said, “She might be like this forever and she might not walk and do other things that other children do but that’s okay with us, we still love her.”

Layla is Felicia and Jesse’s second child. When she was born, Layla would not eat or gain weight. At the age of three, the child only weighs 19 pounds, leaving her doctors without any explanation.

“She’s seen, it seems, like every specialist there is, everything comes back normal,” Jesse said.

“And that is frustrating because you know after all those tests, they’re all normal but we know she’s not normal,” Felicia notes.

Researchers are still in the process of doing genetic studying on children with Syndrome X.


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