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Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • HGPS
  • Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome
  • Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome
  • premature aging syndrome
  • progeria
  • progeria of childhood

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Progeria, or Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), is a rare, fatal, genetic condition of childhood with striking features resembling premature aging. Children with progeria usually have a normal appearance in early infancy. At approximately nine to 24 months of age, affected children begin to experience profound growth delays, resulting in short stature and low weight. They also develop a distinctive facial appearance characterized by a disproportionately small face in comparison to the head; an underdeveloped jaw (micrognathia); malformation and crowding of the teeth; abnormally prominent eyes; a small nose; prominent eyes and a subtle blueness around the mouth. In addition, by the second year of life, the scalp hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes are lost (alopecia), and the scalp hair may be replaced by small, downy, white or blond hairs. Additional characteristic features include generalized atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke, hip dislocations, unusually prominent veins of the scalp, loss of the layer of fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous adipose tissue), defects of the nails, joint stiffness, skeletal defects, and/or other abnormalities. According to reports in the medical literature, individuals with HGPS develop premature, widespread thickening and loss of elasticity of artery walls (arteriosclerosis), which result in life-threatening complications during childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Children with progeria die of heart disease (atherosclerosis) at an average age of 13 years, with a range of about eight to 21 years. As with any person suffering from heart disease, the common events as heart disease advances for children with progeria can include high blood pressure, strokes, angina (chest pain due to poor blood flow to the heart itself), enlarged heart, and heart failure, all conditions associated with aging.

Progeria is caused by a mutation of the gene LMNA, or lamin A. The lamin A protein, is the scaffolding that holds the nucleus of a cell together. Researchers now believe that the defective lamin A protein, makes the nucleus unstable. That cellular instability appears to lead to the process of premature aging in progeria.

Resources

Progeria Research Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 3453
Peabody, MA 01961-3453
USA
Tel: (978)535-2594
Fax: (978)535-5849
Email: info@progeriaresearch.org
Internet: http://www.progeriaresearch.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766
Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  4/2/2014
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