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Progeria Syndrome- Facts, causes and symptoms

Updated on July 23, 2012
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What is Progeria Syndrome and Its Cause?

If you're looking for some facts about progeria syndrome, here are few that you may want to know.

Progeria syndrome or Hutchinson-Gilford Syndrome is a rare progressive health condition which results in dramatic, premature aging in children. It is believed to be caused by the mutation in the gene. Its name is comes from the Greek word which means "prematurely old." The common type of progeria is Hutchinson- Gilford Syndrome which was named after the doctors who discovered this kind of disease.

In recent years, there were few cases to almost none which have been reported about the progeria disease and because it is very rare, there were little researches done until 1990s.

Life expectancy

Progerias average life expectancy is only until they reach 13 years of age, however some patients can last into their early 20s and the cause of their early death is usually related to heart problems or stroke.

Signs and Symptoms

Children with this condition usually appears to be normal and healthy at birth. However, it begins to display many characteristics of dramatic aging within the first couple of years usually around 18-24 months.

Signs and symptoms of progeria syndrome includes:

* Resembles human aging or elderly person

* Has big head

* Veins especially on the scalp and eyes are visible

* Has stiff joints and hip dislocations

* Scleroderma or the Hard, scaly skin

* Failure to grow during the first year of life

* Wrinkled or shrunken face and large head

* Baldness or alopecia- loss of their eyebrows and eyelashes

* Delayed or absent formation of teeth

* Irregular heartbeat

* Body fats and muscles are reduced

* Heart and artery disease

Up to this time, there’s still no cure nor treatments can somewhat prolong life for people who suffers from progeria syndrome. However, some of the symptoms can be lessen with drugs which can lower cholesterol levels, discourage blood clots, growth hormone which boost height and weight, and drugs that help prevent heart attack and stroke.

Experts are trying their best to find a cure or treatment for people who suffers progeria so that they can live happily for longer period of time

Hayley Okines

Was one of few children who suffered from progeria. She is well known for spreading this kind of condition. Hayley Okines was only 21 months old when the doctors diagnosed her of having this disease and that she was unlikely to live beyond 13 yrs. of age.

Her life story once became the subject of a documentary series for Five. She was last featured in 2010 and at that time she was starting her secondary school and took part in a pioneering medical trial somewhere in America.

Hayley at 14 has already passed her life expectancy and her family keeps on pushing forward as they remain hopeful.

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