Stone Man Syndrome (Biology, Science)
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, “Stone Man Syndrome”
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a progressive genetic disorder that turns soft tissues into bone over time.
The ACVR1 gene found in bone, muscles, tendons, and ligaments regulates growth and development of those tissues, and is normally responsible for turning cartilage into bone as children develop. However, mutations of this gene can allow ossification to go unchecked throughout a sufferer’s life, even turning skeletal muscle into bone and causing joints to fuse together.
This disorder occurs in about 1 in 2 million people, and there are currently no treatments or cures. Trauma exacerbates the condition, so attempts to remove bone surgically just results in the body producing even more bone in the area.