The 60-Year-Old Children: Progeria and Human Longevity

Spot the Difference

In this world, there are many things that we see every day. Take bananas, as an example. There’s a man in the corner, munching on a yellow banana. Great. Nothing strange about that, right?

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What is Progeria?

Progeria is a genetic condition with which children undergo accelerated aging. By the time they’re three, those with this disease have already assumed the appearance of a 60-year-old. Their body, hair, and organs become akin to those of an elderly adult. They experience the loss of body fat and are at high risk for many diseases that most wouldn’t encounter until later in life.

Progeria diagram
Progeria diagram
Image from DoveMed

What Causes Progeria?

Progeria, in short terms, is caused by mutations in the LMNA gene. This gene is responsible for providing instructions to create lamin A, a protein that helps determine the shape of a cell’s nucleus. The mutation causes the protein to create an unstable nuclear envelope (the membrane around the nucleus), which damages the nucleus progressively and results in premature death of the cell.

©NewScientist; The nuclear lamina of a normal cell in comparison to a progeria cell.

How Do We Fight Back?

Introducing: Human Longevity

Numerous children worldwide have died from Progeria. As of today, there is still no cure. How can we combat such a terrible disease that has taken the lives of so many?

News Medical

A New Approach

Dr. John Cooke, department chair of cardiovascular sciences at Houston Methodist Research Institute, explored a new approach to lengthen the telomeres of Progeria patients, rather than removing their senescent cells. Here’s how it works.

Microbe Wiki

So How Do We Find the Cure?

Truth is, it’ll take years for scientists to find a way to cure the entire disease. However, if we’re able to battle the aging aspect of Progeria, we can also battle the sprouting of diseases that root from aging. Patients won’t be at high-risk for strokes, heart attacks, etc. Children won’t be dying before they reach 15 and they’ll be enabled to live out their lives.

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longevity/vr researcher - tks innovator - students x students editor studentsxstudents.com