Progeria: Rapid Aging Disease

By | May 22, 2017
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Progeria is a unique ailment that is incurable by nature. The disease is characterized by premature aging in small children. Experts reckon that children affected by Progeria age 8 times faster than the average kids. It’s projected that 1 in 18 million babies enter the world with this dreadful ailment. The unfortunate aspect linked with Progeria is that victims rarely live beyond 16 years. Most of them live only up to 13 years.

Majority of the children suffering from Progeria die early due to some heart ailments because Progeria victims are prone to catch up with certain cardiovascular diseases. Only in an extreme case, a Progeria victim was able to survive for 29 years. So far, nearly 100 cases of Progeria have been reported across the globe. Today, medical science has garnered limited success with Progeria.

Causes of Progeria

As such, the exact cause of Progeria is yet a mystery in the eyes of medical experts. It’s believed that mutation of a single gene results into Progeria. It destabilizes the cells present in the human body, thereby affecting several bodily functions. In some cases, it affects more than one child in the same family. In fact, there have been reports in the past, wherein more than 2 siblings got affected by this ailment in the same family.

Symptoms of Progeria

A child suffering from Progeria is exposed to a host of noticeable symptoms. The child may appear normal for the first year or so. The symptoms usually make way once the child grows 2 years old. It makes the child look prematurely old with certain characteristics such as wrinkled face, hair loss and weak bone structure.

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Almost all the victims show limited growth, both in terms of height and weight. The victims carry small face with pinched nose. When the symptoms progress, the entire body appears like a dwarf in comparison to the size of the head. The veins are also clearly noticeable on the scalp. Other symptoms include dental issues and loss of eyebrows. Besides this, high pitched voice and delayed dentition are two other prominent features noticed amongst Progeria patients.

Treatment for Progeria

While the symptoms are far reaching enough to conclude whether the person is suffering from Progeria or not, a DNA test is usually conducted to confirm the news. Unfortunately, medical science hasn’t been able to unleash a viable solution to deal with this ailment. Individuals suffering from Progeria are treated only to ease their condition from all kinds of health complications invading their bodies. For instance, bypass surgery is performed to deal with cardiovascular ailments.

The measures used to deal with Progeria enables a victim to live for few more years with the disorder, but does very little to eradicate the ailment by itself. As unfortunate as it may sound, the fact of the matter is that Progeria victims hardly live for two decades. Apart from bypass surgery and other conventional treatment, most sufferers are advised to have a diet high on calorie to increase their lifespan. Hopefully, in the near future we can expect better medical practices for the cure of Progeria.

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