What is progeria?
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.