Genetics determine the traits an individual will inherit from their parents. In society today, the role of genetics is crucial; they decide ones physical appearance as well as their personality. However, if there is a mutation located in one of the genes that a child receives it is very likely a deformity will be present. A rare yet fatal defect from a gene mutation such as this is Progeria. This disorder is an unfortunate one that may occur in two forms, either Hutchison-Gilford Progeria or Werner syndrome. Not only do they affect the bone structure and appearance of the child, but they substantially shorten their life spans.
Hutchison-Gilford disorder was first discovered and described by John Hutchison in 1886. However, in 1904 Hastings Gilford named the disorder Progeria after doing some of his own research on it (Malady). Approximately a year after Gilford presented his Progeria research, Otto Werner discovered a disorder by which he called "inaugural-dissertation". It was not until about 1935 that Oppenheimer and Kugel named "innaugaral dissertation" Werner Syndrome (Werner).
Progeria is a very rare disorder, affecting one out of eight million children in the Hutchison-Gilford form. Werner Syndrome is more common yet still infrequent, affecting one out of one million children. Both types of Progeria affect specific ethnicities; Hutchison-Gilford occurs most frequently in Caucasians, while Werner Syndrome affects mostly children of the Japanese and Sardinian background. This disorder is fatal in both cases, although the life span of one with Werner Syndrome, living to the age of approximately 46, is significantly longer then one with Hutchison-Gilford who will only live to the age of 13 (Werner).
Progeria is commonly referred to as "early aging disease"; however, this disorder has nothing to do with a child aging rapidly. The symptoms of Progeria in both Hutchison-Gilford and Werner are very similar and they do appear to speed the...
Cited: Malady of the Month-Progeria.
Kugler, Mary. Progeria Syndroms.
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