Rapid aging patient can be cured, doctors claim

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Doctors from Hoan My Hospital in Da Nang have said they will be able treat a 27-year-old woman suffering from a strange condition that makes her look much older than her age.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai of Quang Nam Province's Hoi An Town is not suffering from mast cells or chronic skin inflammation and thus she doesn't have Mastocytosis, a rare disorder caused by the presence of too many mast cells, said Doctor Tran Van Long, the hospital director on November 4.

He diagnosed Mai with chronic autoimmune urticaria, based on cell tests and consultation with several professionals, including doctors in endocrinology, hematology and ophthalmology.

He said they would continue to look at possible side effects of corticoid and traditional medicine that could lead to lack of protein and calories and aging skin.

The hospital has taken Mai to Hue for more tests of her bone marrow. The samples will be sent to the K Hospital in Hanoi and labs in the US for further tests.

"A treatment plan will be made after tests results are available," Long told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper, adding that they should be able to treat the rapid-aging process and help Mai get back her actual appearance.

Mai was first admitted to the Hoan My Hospital in Da Nang City on October 22.

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Doctors from various hospitals in the central region held a three-hour consultation, but could not reach a conclusion on what caused the rapid aging process in her.

Mai started aging when she turned 12. According to Nguyen Thi Mut, her 52-year-old mother, Mai first felt itchy and developed rashes all over her body.

Her face swelled up, which made her classmates avoid her, Mut recalled.

Her family took her to many hospitals and tried many modern and traditional medicine remedies, but her condition only got worse.

Mai is one of the three children in her family; the two others are normal.

She got married at 22 to a man with slight mental problems. They have two children aged two and five; and both are in good health.

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