Obese Toddler Undergoes Gastrectomy, RoAccutane Linked to Multiple Suicides, Fountain of Youth in a Jellyfish?

Chako S. on 14 May 2014 at 9:50am

Obese Indian 4-year-old undergoes gastrectomy - the youngest in history to undergo this invasive surgery.

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An Indian boy, Rishi Khatau, just underwent gastrectomy, a two-hour operation where 70% of his stomach was removed, at only 4 years old. Rishi was severely overweight by the time he hit his second birthday, and before the surgery his waist measured 36 inches. At that point, his parents had no choice but to have him undergo gastrectomy, making him the youngest person in the world to ever undergo the invasive surgery.

MORE: Sleeve Gastrectomy Before & After Pictures

Post-surgery, his family is seeing much more than just weight loss. They’ve noticed a drastic difference in his energy levels and sleep patterns. His father tells the Mail Online, “It makes me very happy that my son is losing the weight and getting his life back. I was terrified we’d made the wrong decision going for the surgery but now we know it was the right choice. I see my son swimming, cycling and running and enjoying life again. That is a wonderful feeling.”

For years, acne drug RoAccutane has been linked to psychological trauma, namely depression and suicide. A little history: The drug was developed in 1982 as a “miracle” treatment for acne, and was removed from the US market in 2009 for “business reasons. ” Concerns for psychological effect of the drug have existed since its introduction to the public.

This month, media focus has been on James Silcock, who took the drug for 18 months when he was a teenager, and ended up taking his life almost a decade later at age 26. In his 20-page suicide note, James specifically calls out the drug, “Everything I wanted in life has been taken away from me because of what RoAccutane has done to me.”

26-year-old James Silcock named acne drug RoAccutane as a cause for his depression and eventual suicide

The Commission of Human Medicines will be conducting reviews of RoAccutane and its effects over the next two months (May - June 2014). Amidst the media frenzy, a Roche spokesman made a statement welcoming the review: “Roche is committed to ensuring our medicines are taking as safely as possible and supports the ongoing review of the safety profile of all medicines.”

In response, Melvin Silcock (James’s father), along with other anti-RoAccutane campaigners, started an Acne Awareness group on Facebook in November 2013. They released a photo of a violation letter to Roche along with the caption, “The US Food & Drug Administration have forced them to change the change Roaccutane info leaflet over 50 times. Can they be trusted to be honest and open?”

MORE: There are a number of RealSelf questions about Accutane and possible side effects of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Can we find the fountain of youth in... a jellyfish? Japanese scientist Shin Kubota has been studying them in the hopes to “become young in the future.” The seemingly immortal Turritopsis jellyfish is able to rejuvenate itself when stressed (i.e. sick or injured) — it reverse ages to its polyp stage (The turritopsis jellyfish only has two stages of life: polyp and medusa). One jellyfish Kubota has been testing on has come back 11 times after being stabbed repeatedly with pins. Imagine going through that torturous life cycle forever!

Because jellyfish and humans couldn’t be more genetically different from each other, it’s hard to say that we’ll be able to find something that will help humans grow younger (much less immortal). Al Dove, Georgia Aquarium’s research director, explains to CBS News that it’s nearly impossible: “Chances that this adaptation is going to be easily transferred to humans through, say, genetic engineering is pretty remote — or at least a long, long way off.” Boo, skeptics! We’ll hold out to see if Kubota finds something amazing, and until then, we’ll always have Voluma.

MORE: Is Voluma the Next Big Thing in Anti-Aging?

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Photo credits (top to bottom): raudah_mirza on InstagramAcne Awareness Group on Facebook