WASHINGTON — A rare genetic condition in which skin and other tissues become too light blue and turn brown causes sufferers to become unable to recognize faces and their facial features.
The condition, which can be triggered by exposure to light, can cause a sufferer to become blind or deaf.
It’s also characterized by a lack of sweating, and is the result of a genetic disorder, according to a new study.
The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found the genes that make up the pigment melanin in skin and the blood vessels in the head are the same genes that can be activated by light exposure.
The findings have scientists wondering if the melanin is what causes the condition.
It was not immediately clear if the gene mutation is the cause of the condition, but the researchers speculate that it could be triggered in some way.
The results could help scientists figure out how people with the condition develop and what genetic mechanisms cause it.
The condition can be inherited in the womb or can be caused by other environmental factors, such as stress or exposure to a light source, said lead study author J.J. LeBlanc, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
In the current study, the scientists examined skin and blood vessels of mice that had melanin mutations and normal skin cells.
The scientists then performed a series of tests to determine whether melanin was present in the mice’s skin and vessels.
After analyzing the skin samples and skin cells, the researchers discovered that melanin cells were located on the left hand and in the legs of the mice.
The researchers also found melanin on the right side of the head of the animals.
They hypothesized that melanins in the skin and skin vessels are linked with the eyes and facial features of the sufferers.
LeBlanc said the finding could be relevant to other disorders caused by melanin mutation, such a syndrome of depression or bipolar disorder.