The Surprising Hidden Benefit of Laron Syndrome

People with Laron syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder, have mutations or deletions of the GHR gene which results in a type of dwarfism. It is most commonly seen South America, in Mediterranean countries, and in North America.

autosomal recessive genetics laron
Figuring out how genetics works is made WAAAAAAY easier with charts! [Source: wikipedia.org]
It is an inherited condition that is treated with injections of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) helps some patients gain height, but the results of treating patients throughout their lives is not known. This hormonal deficiency can result from growth hormone (GH) resistance, or resistance from the GH receptor. Along with stunted growth, people with Laron syndrome are prone to extreme insulin sensitivity and rarely develop diabetes. Curiously, they also seem to be immune from most cancers.

There is also speculation that Laron syndrome may hold the key to living a long, healthy life. Scientists are studying a group of people in Ecuador who all have this genetic mutation and survive well into old age.


Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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