Progeria By: Rebecca Lascala

Progeria is a rare, genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly at a very young age. It's name is derived from the Greek, in which it means "prematurely old."

It can cause the head to enlarge, wrinkly skin, hearing & hair loss, delayed tooth development, and loss of muscle. Progeria occurs when a gene that makes a protein, necessary for holding the center of the cell together, has a defect and makes the cell unstable, therefore causing accelerated aging.

Progeria affects children the most, but it is extremely rare, with only 1,000 US cases a year.

Although there is no cure, treatment can be chosen, which consists of therapies and medications to delay progression.

People with progeria have a very high risk of death and are expected to live only 13 years. It does not run in families and as of today, there are no environmental causes that may lead to progeria.

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