ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Progeria: Werner’s Syndrome

Updated on March 20, 2011

Progeria is a type of genetic disorder where aging is rapid and premature. There are different genetic disorders with this condition. All of them reflect rapid premature aging in victims. Collectively, they are called progeroid syndromes. But they are treated and considered as clinically unique from one another.

Clinical diagnosis of the patients shows that they appear old for their natural age. For now, there is no known treatment or prevention for this condition. However, for the treatment of their many diseases associated with old age, they are treated the same way people with these problems are treated.

Werner’s Syndrome

Werner’s syndrome was named after Otto Werner. He was a German scientist who described the syndrome in 1904 in his doctoral thesis.

Werner’s syndrome is also known as adult progeria. This is one of the most common progeria cases. It is a less known form of progeria but more common than Hutchinson - Gilford syndrome. It is estimated that this condition occurs in about 1 in 1 million births. To date, there are about 1300 recorded cases about this syndrome since Otto Werner first described it in 1904.

This condition closely mimics the natural aging process. However, during early adulthood, aging becomes more rapid, resulting in premature aging. First sign of this disease is the lack of growth spurts during teenage years. Aside from that, though, teenagers with this condition look normal. Aged appearance begins in their 20s or may be delayed up to their 30s. The most common causes of death are cancer or heart attacks and stroke (atherosclerosis).

Mutation of WRN gene is known to be responsible for this disorder. This protein, when normal, is thought to be responsible for the repair and maintenance of DNA. Because of the abnormal function of this gene, it fails to repair and maintain DNA causing DNA damage accumulation. This gene is hereditary. Chances of having this disease increase if a sibling or parent has this condition or are carriers of this gene. No need to worry for most people, though. This is a rare condition.

Because WS patients have a longer lifespan than other progeroid syndromes, it is recommended for them to have a healthy lifestyle to delay its symptoms. Exercise, healthy diet, and avoidance of cigarettes and alcohol are necessary to avoid the complications associated with WS. Death can occur between 30 to 50 years old.

This condition is more common among the Japanese than any other ethnic background. Out of the 1300 reported cases, 800+ of them are of Japanese descents.

WS generally has these symptoms and complications

  1. Muscle deterioration
  2. Thin skin
  3. Short in stature
  4. Wrinkling and aging of the face
  5. Loss of subcutaneous fats
  6. Sunken cheeks due to fat loss
  7. High pitched voice or coarse voice

Health Related Problems

  1. Rapidly progressing cataracts
  2. Osteoporosis
  3. Diabetes
  4. Premature menopause for women
  5. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  6. Cancer
  7. Cataracts
  8. Skin ulcers
  9. Rapid decline of fertility


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks for dropping by, Raps. Hope you enjoyed reading.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      wow its amazing how many diseases there are out there. very enlightening.

    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Katyzzz, it sure can be an eye opener for most of us knowing how unfortunate some people are. Thanks for coming by. :)

    • katyzzz profile image


      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Very informative article. It is so sad, how much we take for granted. Thank you for this unfortunate anecdote.

    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Cgull, thanks for coming by. :) Even with all the medical advances, there are still diseases that cannot be cured. Probably just one of the mysteries of life.

    • cgull8m profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      "I know, we're already afraid of growing old. How much more if we grew old at an accelerated pace. Scary."

      I agree it is real scary. Even with all the medical advances we are seeing strange and dangerous diseases.

    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Yes. They're similar in almost all symptoms except that people with this syndrome live longer than other types of progeria.

      I know, we're already afraid of growing old. How much more if we grew old at an accelerated pace. Scary.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

    • quicksand profile image


      9 years ago

      This is somewhat similar to the earlier one that you described, right?

      Similar or not it certainly is frightening.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)