Science & Technology
'Bionic girl' unable to feel hunger or pain
By T.K. Randall
January 17, 2016 · 8 comments
Olivia is unable to feel pain or hunger and is rarely tired. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Paul Sapiano
7-year-old Olivia Farnsworth suffers from a rare condition that affects only 100 people worldwide.
The illness, which has led to her acquiring the nickname 'bionic girl', makes it impossible for her to experience pain or hunger and renders her extraordinarily resilient to feeling tired.
While being unable to feel pain might seem like an advantage, sufferers often have difficulty determining when they've injured themselves and have a reduced sense of danger.
"She got run over and dragged down the street by a car and she didn’t complain," said her mother Niki. "She was dragged about ten car lengths down the road. It was horrendous."
"But Olivia was just like, ‘What’s going on?’. She just got up and started walking back to me."
The inability to feel tired or hungry also represents on ongoing problem because these important sensations conventionally tell a person when they are deficient in sustenance or sleep.
To get around this, Olivia has to stick to a strict regiment of eating and sleeping at specific times.
Doctors believe that her unique ailments are the result of something called chromosome 6 deletion however the combination of all three symptoms has never been reported before.
"This is a super rare case," said Beverley Searl, chief executive of the support group that has been helping Olivia manage her condition. "There may not be anybody out there the same as Olivia."
Source: Yorkshire Post
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