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Dwarfs with Laron Ailment Can Now Be Cured with Drug

Hundreds of dwarfs suffering from an ailment named after Tel Aviv University Professor Zvi Laron, can be cured now with a hormone produced in Japan and tested by Laron in Israel.

Laron, Marsh Professor of Endocrinology at Tel Aviv, reported his findings following two years of tests.

He said the drug, IGF-1, enabled children suffering from Laron type dwarfism, or LTD, to grow by 3 to 5 inches. All the children who received IGF-1 grew and Laron has concluded that the disease is finally curable.

Some 250 people are known to be suffering from Laron type dwarfism, 41 of whom are in Israel.

LTD was first diagnosed among Jews of Middle Eastern origin and later among Jews and non-Jews in other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, as well as descendants of migrants from those countries.

The disease is characterized by dwarfism, obesity, small hands, feet and faces. The liver fails to produce the hormone causing growth, and people with LTD reach a height of 3 to 4 feet.

Laron said that his studies had led Fujisawa Co. of Osaka, Japan, to produce a biosynthetic hormone, IGF-1, which was first tested in Israel.

That hormone is administered daily before breakfast, in doses that depend on the child’s weight. It makes the children taller, increases the size of their brains, and makes their bodies slimmer, he added.

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