A 3-year-old boy in India has been cured by medical and surgical intervention after he was diagnosed with premature precocious puberty, which can occur before age 7 or 8 in girls and age 9 in boys. The onset of signs is usually triggered by the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that helps with controlling the pituitary glands.
The condition caused his genitals to grow in size, his voice became deeper, and pimples started to grow on his face. The boy began showing physical changes at an unusually early age of 18 months. He also displayed aggressive behavior and there was an irregular growth of hair on his body.
At Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jimper) in Puducherry, where the boy was taken, doctors discovered an excess amount of sex hormones flowing in his blood.
The team of doctors tried preventing the condition from developing any further by treating it with injections. Attempting to bring the excessive hormone secretions to an end produced little results. The boy would have had to be on medication for the next decade, but his parents could not afford to pay for treatments anymore.
The only other option was to do a 3-hour operation on the boy’s skull and get rid of the abnormal tissue from the hypothalamus.
“The rare condition, which affects less than one in a million people, is termed precocious puberty,” Roopesh Kumar, lead neurosurgeon at Jimper, told The Times of India. “It can be completely cured by appropriate medical or surgical intervention if diagnosed early.
“Children with this condition attain puberty before eight years of age. For boys, it is less than nine years.”
Following the brain surgery, the boy’s hormones were back to normal. Kumar also said that he no longer requires any treatments in the future.