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Statue disease that can make the curse of Medusa a reality!   

#Science #Biology #Anomaly


Osheen Sharma
@Osheen.Sharma · Posted 02 Dec. 2021

Statue disease or Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, is a rare genetic disorder where parts of your tissue start turning to bone. It is the unusual bone development in parts of the body where there shouldn't be bone. Imagine having your tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues become stiff and bony with injury or illness. One may think that all they need to do to avoid having their connective tissue to bone is avoid getting hurt. However, even the stress of daily movement and such can cause inflammation and consequent ossification. The disease is the result of a gene mutation however it is so rare and little understood that there is no predicting how long or in what way the disease progresses. The disease is so unpredictable in fact that the progression between twins has also been found to be different despite them being genetic clones. The attached image shows the extent to which the disease modifies a person's body and how different the skeleton of an affected individual looks from a normal healthy skeleton.

While the disease may not be as dramatic as it would be to be turned to stone by Medusa, it is a lot more terrifying. The disease first affects the neck, chest, limbs, and back, possibly due to how often these parts of the body are used in daily functioning. Since it is a progressive disease it eventually moves to the smaller joints such as wrists and ankles and sometimes even spreads to the walls of your abdomen. Eventually, the abnormal mature bone may break and then fix itself to cause further damage leading to limited movement. People with this disease sometimes get affected in the jaw and lose the ability to speak or eat their food effectively. Due to the fact that this disease limits people severely and affects nearly every connective tissue in the body, people can eventually become completely immobilized and stuck in the posture that their deformity has left them with.

There are no known treatments for this disease yet but research is underway. The focus is mostly on suppressing the inflammation that causes the metamorphosis of the connective tissue to bone. Since the causative mutation is known, it might be possible to supplement or suppress the factors affected by the mutation. Until there is an effective treatment the patients can only take precautions to avoid blunt trauma and viral infections that may trigger a flare-up.

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