Gigantism

--By Anna H, Harrison A, Gaurav J, Jeremy K, Ryan Ch, Cathedral, Josh C

Introduction

We started to think about Gigantism when everyone in the class seemed to want to do dwarfism. When we started generating questions, the topic seemed to become much more interesting and we decided to go into further research. Some of the questions we had were if there were any requirements to be a "giant"? Or how did giants get clothes and shoes in their size? All of these questions compelled us to go into further detail of this subject and as you can see below, we have got a lot of information

What is Gigantism?

Gigantism is a condition where a person's height is far above average. One can have cerebral gigantism or pituitary gigantism. Pituitary gigantism is when someone's hormones overproduce because of an excess of preburtal growth hormone. Cerebral gigantism is caused by a mutation in the NSD1 gene.

Pituitary Gigantism


Gigantism is an excessive secretion of growth hormone during childhood, and before the closure of the bone growth plates. This excess growth hormone causes overgrowth of the long bones and very tall and big stature. If the excess growth hormone occurs after normal bone growth is completed (during adulthood), the condition is known as acromegaly. The excess growth hormone that causes the gigantism is normally set off because of a tumor (that doesn't contain cancer) in the pituitary gland. The only way to get rid of the tumor is to surgically remove it. Some medications may be able to help to reduce the tumor and radiation can be used but this process takes multiple years (up to 10). This should only be used if the surgery is not an option and the medicine can't be used since this is a very risky choice, causing multiple detriments to your health, including learning disabilities and obesity. Using surgery can regulate the growth hormone acceleration. This hormone is a form of growth hormone. Gigantism is a very rare disease.
If normal bone growth has stopped and the excess growth hormone occurs it's called acromegaly.

Causes:

1. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia- this is a hereditary disorder where a gland develops to much body tissue.
2.McCune-Albright syndrome- this is a genetic disease that affects the bones and pigmentation of the skin.
3. Neurofibromatosis- this is also a genetic disease, and it's when the nerve tissue starts to grow tumors.
4.Carney complex- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carney_complex


Symptoms:

- double vision/difficulty with peripheral vision
- headache
-increased sweating
-large hands with thick fingers and toes
-poor coordination
-delayed puberty
-weakness

Treatment

1. Surgery- this is the best option to remove the tumors that cause gigantism.
2. Medicine- if surgery is not an option, then there are some medicines that can help. They are called "somatostatin analogs", and they help decrease the amount of growth hormone that is secreased. "Dopamine agonists" are also used to lessen the amount of growth hormones released, but they aren't as effective. There is a new drug called pegvisomant, which is supposed to block the effect of the growth hormone.
3. Radiation Therapy- this is another option of treatment. But it takes a long time, like 5-10 years, for the full effects to be seen. This is only used if surgery and medicine fail, because there are bad side effects. Like learning disabilities, obesity, and emotional
changes.


Information

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/gigantism/overview.html
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/925446-overview
http://health.surfwax.com/files/Gigantism.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:People_with_gigantism


Sotos Syndrome

Sotos syndrome is a genetic disorder. It's when there's lots of growth in the first few years of life. By the time the individual is an adult they're height is usually normal. Sotos syndrome is also known as cerebral gigantism. Approximately 1 in 14,001 babies are born with sotos syndrome. It's caused by a mutation in the NDS1 gene. There is no standard treatment. Instead treatment is based on the symptoms individually. It's not a life threatening disorder and individuals who have it live a normal length life.
external image moz-screenshot.jpg

Signs and Symptoms:

-scoliosis
-overgrowth
-large head
-ADHD
-mild mental retardation
-delayed development
-low mustle tone
-speach impediments
Sotos.jpg
A baby with Sotos syndrome



Tallest Man Who Ever Lived:


Robert Wadlow:


Robert Wadlow is the tallest published man. Robert was born on February 22, 1918. At the peak of his growth he was 8 foot 11.1 inches. His level of growth hormone was abnormally high and after his death there was no sign of a stoppage of growing. Since his strange amount of growth he was required to wear leg braces that would allow him to walk with greater ease.

Unfortunately his death came sooner than expected. Robert Wadlow died at 22 because of an infected blister he got while appearing at National Forest Festival. The brace he was wearing aggravated his ankle causing a blister to form. This blister became infected. He was treated with a blood transfusion and surgery. One July 15, 1940 he died during the night.external image robert-wadlow.jpg

Hollywoods Fave Giant:

Matthew McGrory was born on May 17, 1973 and died on August 9, 2005. He was an American actor, known for his great height. He starred in many major films such as Bubble Boy, Big Fish, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. He also was in many TV shows such as Malcolm in the Middle, Charmed and Carnivale. He is currently 7 ft 6 in and has a shoe size of 29. An interesting fact about Matthew is that he was never tested for any physical abnormalities based on his height.
external image sq_mcgory_bigfish_prem.jpg


Troubles with Gigantism

Although many people think it would be great to be 8 feet tall because they would be good at a lot of sports and they could reach things that other people couldn’t reach. However, there are numerous amounts of medical problems that make living harder for giants than any other people. A lot of times giants will suffer problems with their knees at a very early age due to being so top heavy. Usually giant’s backs also form an arch over time and therefore have to use a cane or walker to get around.Giants also face a lot of social problems. Besides people looking at them weird and just talking to them as a form of entertainment giants do not have a lot of transportation methods. Usually they have to buy custom cars which cost well over $75,000 or just give up their license completely. Their house also has to be custom built with doorways that are tall enough to allow them to fit through. All of these things make life troublesome for giants especially because there are no tools or inventions that can make them shorter. For dwarfs or midgets there are a lot of inventions to help them reach things up high or stand up taller. For giants, bending over is a very hard task and they usually can’t reach things on the ground. This is not saying that gigantism is a harder disability than dwarfism but people still need to be aware of the difficulties of being a giant and not just think that everything is easy for them
gigantism.jpg