What is proge­ria?

Vuk'uzenzele - - Sport, Arts & Culture -

The word “proge­ria” comes from the Greek words “pro”, mean­ing “be­fore”, and “geras”, mean­ing “old age”.

Proge­ria is a rare ge­netic dis­ease in which the symp­toms of grow­ing old ap­pear in chil­dren from a very young age. Peo­ple born with proge­ria only live to their mid-teens or early twen­ties.

Usu­ally in the first year of life, the growth of a child with proge­ria slows down. But mo­tor de­vel­op­ment and in­tel­li­gence stay nor­mal.

Chil­dren with proge­ria have a dis­tinc­tive ap­pear­ance:

• Slow growth, with be­low-av­er­age height and weight

• Nar­row face, small lower jaw, thin lips and beaked nose

• Head large for the face

• Prom­i­nent eyes and in­com­plete clo­sure of the eye­lids

• Hair loss, in­clud­ing eye­lashes and eye­brows

• Thin­ning, spotty, wrin­kled skin

• Vis­i­ble veins

• High-pitched voice

There is no ef­fec­tive treat­ment for the dis­eases. Most treat­ment op­tions have fo­cused on re­duc­ing com­pli­ca­tions, such as heart dis­ease.

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