Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome “Progeria” or “HGPS” is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children. Its name is derived from Greek and means “prematurely old.” While there are different forms of Progeria, the classic type is Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.
Although they are born looking healthy, children with Progeria begin to display many characteristics of accelerated aging at around 18-24 months of age. Progeria signs include growth failure, loss of body fat and hair, aged-looking skin, stiffness of joints, hip dislocation, generalized atherosclerosis, cardiovascular (heart) disease and stroke. Children with Progeria die of atherosclerosis (heart disease) at an average age of fourteen years.
Progeria affects approximately 1 in 4 – 8 million newborns. There are an estimated 200-250 children living with Progeria worldwide at any one time. It affects both sexes equally and all races.
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The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF) was founded in 1999 in response to the complete lack of progress being made to help children with Progeria. Without the discovery of new treatments, all children with Progeria will die of heart disease at an average age of 14 years.