Progeria is named after Jonathan Hutchinson, who first described the disease in 1886 and Hastings Gilford who was the first to refer to the disease as progeria Progeria is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children It is caused by a mutation in the gene called LMNA. The LMNA gene produces the Lamin A protein, which is the structural scaffolding that holds the nucleus of a cell together. The defective Lamin A protein makes the nucleus unstable, the instability appears to lead to the process of premature aging in Progeria.
Babies with Progeria are born looking healthy, then at 18-24 months the symptoms start to occur. Symptoms of Progeria 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) between the ages of 8-21. There has not been a cure for this disease yet.