The moment the little boy was born, the hospital staff knew there was something unusual about him. His muscles looked nothing like the soft baby muscles of the other infants in the nursery. They were bulging and well defined, especially in his thighs and upper arms.Of course that's because he'll be wearing his reporter glasses. Duh...
"Everybody noticed," said Dr. Markus Schuelke, a pediatric neurologist at Charité University Medical Center in Berlin.
The baby, it turned out in the first such documented case in a human, had a double dose of a genetic mutation that causes immense strength in mice and cattle. Drugs are under development that, investigators hope, will use the same principle to help people whose muscles are wasting from muscular dystrophy or other illnesses. Experts say the little boy, now 4½ and still very strong, offers human evidence for the theory behind such drugs.
But while the muscles in his arms and legs are twice as big as the muscles of other children his age, Dr. Schuelke said, "he is not extreme: you wouldn't recognize him if you saw him on the street."