Progeria comes from the Greek and Latin and means “premature ageing”. The clinical picture was first described by Jonathan Hutchinson and Hastings Gilford in 1886. The most striking feature is the premature ageing of the affected children.
Also known as progeria infantilis, it is a clinical feature of various hereditary diseases that are associated with excessive ageing in children, such as Cockayne syndrome, acrogeria, geroderma osteodysplastica, Bloom syndrome or xeroderma pigmentosum
The affected children suffer from, among other things:
• Growth disorders
• bone loss
• rapid skin ageing
• hair loss
• joint changes
In adults, there is also the form of progeria adultorum – also known as Werner syndrome. This leads to a significantly accelerated ageing process in adults from around mid-life.