Gigantism is actually a very rare growth condition, but it does occur more often than not and often the cause of worry to many concerned; however, medical researchers have been able to isolate the genes responsible for the condition in hopes of developing some treatment for it. Gigantism is a medical condition that is characterized by excessive growth and huge stature size – and it is usually caused by the excessive secretion of a growth hormone released from the pituitary gland.
Gigantism causes people to grow very tall and huge with large body statures, and it delays puberty and causes double vision in most people. Gigantic persons tower higher and above others with huge body size that makes them look like ancient Biblical giants. But separate from the fact that the condition is caused by a defect in the pituitary gland, researchers have also been able to isolate the gene responsible for duplication that agrees to the condition.
Constantine Stratakis, the scientific director of Division of Intramural Research, a department of National Institutes of Health Clinical Research states that “Finding the gene responsible for childhood overgrowth would be very helpful, but the much wider question is what regulates growth.”
A mother and two sons were treated for gigantism at the NICHD in the late ‘90s, and studying their case files, Stratakis notes that “Giants are very rare. If you have three cases in the same family, that is very rare,” and this was despite the fact that the mother had most of her pituitary gland removed when she was only three.
Forty-five people with gigantism underwent total genomic analyses to establish and isolate the gene that causes gigantism, and four genes were found which were also duplicated in all the tested gigantism patients. The medical researchers narrowed the four down to a gene identified as GPR10, and the isolated gene was discovered to be 1,000 times stronger in the way it duplicates in children with gigantism. The GPR10 happens to be a major regulator of growth, and its study will help researchers develop medications and treatments for children with gigantism.