The Enigma of the Children of the Night

Children at night are not clinical night owls, nor modern vampires; much less they are following some imposed fashion; they suffer from xeroderma pigmentosa which is a rare genetic disease, in which the DNA of sufferers is unable to repair the damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun.

A story that has inspired great films

It affects about 1000 people around the world, a cure is not yet known and forces the sick to live in the dark.

For all people it is very pleasant to enjoy the sun and the air and beyond the pleasure for the senses, it is a necessity. This strange disease is the result of a recessive gene and it is necessary that both its father, and its mother, be carriers.

Doctors have divided xeroderma sufferers into three categories, A, C, D, based on the body’s ability to repair DNA from radiation damage. Those in group A have the lowest level of repair and suffer from the greatest neurological pathologies.

Sunlight, however mild, can cause severe burns, cancer and irreversible eye damage. Those with it are at increased risk of developing melanomas. Approximately 40% of those who suffer from this disease, result in blindness, deafness, dwarfism, hypergonadism and sometimes mental retardation.

The problems caused by xeroderma are irreversible and cumulative. To cope with this situation, those affected must be kept throughout the day in places where sunlight does not penetrate, in addition to wearing clothes with UV filters, blocking creams and goggles to avoid the sun’s rays. Patients who do not protect themselves as children often have a life expectancy of 15 years.

In the United States there is a holiday camp known as the Sundown Camp, where you live at night and sleep by day: from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. they play, swim, eat and perform activities that a child would normally do in the summer.

In the past, patients with xeroderma pigmentosa died at a very young age, but with technological and scientific advances, they have managed to prolong the existence in patients, up to 60 years.

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Bibliography ► (July 27, 2019). The Enigma of the Children of the Night. Bogotá: E-Cultura Group. Recovered from