Date: January 29, 2019
“One thing all humans have in common is that at a certain point in our childhood, we go through puberty: we get bigger, our bodies change, we often get a little rambunctious and moody, and we mature sexually.
But imagine if those changes occurred not when you were 11 or 13 or 15 years old, but when you were a toddler. That was the experience of Patrick Burleigh, who has a rare genetic mutation that triggers testosterone production far younger than normal.
Doctors call it precocious puberty.
“It’s extremely rare — it’s estimated that there might be like fewer than 1,000 of us,” says Burleigh, who wrote about his experience in New York magazine. “And basically it’s a mutation of the luteinizing hormone chorionic gonadotropin receptor gene, which is responsible for triggering testosterone production in the testicles.”
Burleigh tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson his family was anticipating his symptoms of early puberty because his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all went through it, too. One of the first was pubic hair when Burleigh was just 2 years old.
“I was bigger — considerably bigger — than a 2-year-old, and also [had] impulsive behavior that’s characteristic of someone going through puberty,” he says. “Like just, you know, an inability to control my impulses, aggressive outbursts, hitting other kids, tantrums that were kind of truly epic — just behavior that was extreme.”
Unfortunately…since this just aired a little while ago, the audio is not available for listening to at the time of this posting…It may not be, for a few days…Plus, it’s a two part interview…so…the second half will play, whenever the next episode airs…maybe tomorrow?…
I’ll try to remember to follow up, with a post on the second half.