What Is The Disease That Makes You Look Older? (Anti Aging Q&A)
Have you ever come across someone or seen an image in which you looked at a person and thought they aged too fast?
Have you heard about the disease that can make you look older much before it is time for your first signs of ageing to appear?
Do you know that this disease can affect children as early as in their infancy and make them look absolutely old even before they really reach their teens?
If you have ever wanted to know more about this disease, we can share all the relevant information that can help take care of your questions. We talk about what this disease is and any other names it is called by. We also talk about the symptoms, how soon you can spot the symptoms and who has this disorder.
We also talk about how it affects a person and how the children who are affected by it look like. We also tell you if this is a common disorder or whether it is rare, and what percentage of population it actually affects. We also talk about the early signs and when you should see a doctor, and other things that can help.
What is Hutchinson–Gilford Progeria Syndrome? What are other names that this disease is known by?
The Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is a type of genetic condition. It is also known as HGPS or Progeria. This disease is a rare type of fatal condition in which the affected child starts to display symptoms of ageing. Gradually, the child starts to look like an old person even before reaching the teen years.
The disease gets its name from the Greek language in which it means ‘premature ageing.’ The Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is named after the doctors who first described the condition in England. This was done in the year 1886 by Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson and in the year 1897 by Dr. Hastings Gilford.
It is also known as the following:
What type of disorder is it, who has it, and what are its symptoms?
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, also known as HGPS or Progeria, is a type of very rare genetic disorder. It is a type of disease that makes you look old, and in which there is very premature and fast ageing of the child who is affected. The disease affects the children right after birth, and the symptoms start showing up very soon after birth.
What are the symptoms and how do the affected children look like?
Children who are affected with progeria will be born with regular features and nothing looks out of place. At the time of birth, these babies look outwardly healthy, and there is nothing visible that can immediately lead to a diagnosis of progeria.
However, as the babies begin to grow, they start showing classic symptoms of progeria in the first two years of life itself. Here are some of the most visual signs that can point towards progeria:
In addition, the child will also have the following signs and symptoms:
Are there many people who suffer from this disease?
No, this is a very rare type of disorder that does not affect a lot of people. In fact, from the year 1886, only about 130 people have been known to have been diagnosed with progeria.
It is possible that one parent has the mutation that eventually leads to progeria, but it does not mean that the parent also has progeria. However, if there is one child in the family who does have progeria, there is a chance of about two to three percent that any other child being born in the family will also have progeria.
Is this disease easy to diagnose? What does it take to determine if someone has it?
The signs and symptoms of progeria, or the Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, are very prominent, and so it is possible that a paediatrician or a general physician can also quickly spot the symptoms and come to a diagnosis.
What are early signs that people should look out for? When is it time to see a doctor?
All the signs that are mentioned above are things that you should be on the lookout for. If you suspect any of the above mentioned physical changes in your baby, make sure to immediately get in touch with your baby’s doctor.
Are there any medications that can battle this disease? Do people who have it live long?
Unfortunately, there is no medication or cure for progeria. However, using other means of treatment such as physical therapy and occupational therapy can definitely help to improve the quality of life. As this is a disorder that leads to very fast and accelerated ageing, the affected child most likely survives till the age of 13. However, a doctor will be able to advise best on this.