Tree Man 'Who Grew Roots' May Be Cured
An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor - and Vitamin A.
Dede, now 35, baffled medical experts when warty "roots" began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident. The welts spread across his body unchecked and soon he was left unable to carry out everyday household tasks.
But now an American dermatology expert who flew out to Dede's home village south of the capital Jakarta claims to have identified his condition, and proposed a treatment that could transform his life.
After testing samples of the lesions and Dede's blood, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland concluded that his affliction is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.
Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.
Dr Gaspari, who became involved in the case through a Discovery Channel documentary, believes that Dede's condition can be largely cleared up by a daily doses of a synthetic form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to arrest the growth of warts in severe cases of HPV.
"He won't have a perfectly normal body but the warts should reduce in size to the point where he could use his hands," Dr Gaspari said.
Update: There's now a video.
Tags: HPV | Root | Dede