Werners Disease



Are you worried about something called Werners Disease and want to know more about it?

Do you or someone you know has it and you want to know how to best treat or manage it?

Are you also trying to find out more information about this particular disease, to take the best possible precautions?

If you are looking for any information related to Werners Disease, this article can help you sort out all your queries. Today, we are first talking about what Werner Syndrome is and if it also known by any other name. We also talk about whether it is common or rare and what can cause it. We also take a look at whether someone could be at a higher risk of the same as compared to others. From other forms of treatment to whether or not you need to do any tests, and what could happen if you leave it untreated, we talk about it all. So if you’re really looking for all this and more, do read on.

*WHAT* is Werner Syndrome?

When a person is afflicted with Werner Syndrome, they do not have the regular growth spurt, but instead, age much faster.

As a result, a person who has Werner Syndrome will also have a much shorter life span as compared to someone else of the same age.  

premature aging signs
  • Werner Syndrome is a type of hereditary condition in which the skin starts to age prematurely.
  • In most of the cases, this disease starts to show up around the early childhood years or during the adolescence years.
  • In very rare cases, this disease may also manifest itself in early adulthood, even though the person may not have shown any signs of Werner Syndrome in the earlier years.
  • By the time the person reaches around 30 or 40 years, they look really old.
  • When a person is afflicted with Werner Syndrome, they do not have the regular growth spurt, but instead, age much faster.
  • As a result, a person who has Werner Syndrome will also have a much shorter life span as compared to someone else of the same age.  

What other names is it known by?

  • In the medical terms, Werner Syndrome is also known by the name of progeria.
  • In most of the cases, this disease starts to show up around the early childhood years or during the adolescence years.
  • It can also be referred to as progeria adultorum, pangeria and even simply progeria of the adult.
  • The term progeria is derived from a Greek term which means ‘before old age.’
  • In some cases, this condition is also referred to as the Hutchison Gilford syndrome.

Is Werner Syndrome COMMON or RARE?

  • Werner Syndrome is an extremely rare form of genetic disorder that affects the skin and the overall look of the person who suffers from it. 
  • According to various estimates, it is said that about 1 in every 200,000 people in the US may suffer from Werner Syndrome, whereas in Japan or Italy, this seems to be a little more common than in the US.
  • In both Japan and in an area known as Sardinia in Italy, it is estimated that about 1 in every 30,000 people may have a risk of suffering from the Werner Syndrome.
  • The reason why the disease seems to be more common in these areas as compared to other parts in the world is thought to be because of a genetic mutation that had apparently taken place a number of generations ago. At that time, the number of people was less, and hence, the mutation in the genes was passed down more often through the generations.
  • As a result, over the years, it affected more and more people. This situation is known as a founder mutation.

What *CAUSES* this disease? Is it inherited? Is it CONTAGIOUS?

Werner Syndrome is a type of genetic condition.

  • If someone in the family has this condition, it can be passed on from one generation to the other.
  • One of the biggest reasons for this condition is when there is some type of mutation or alteration in the WRN gene.
  • In the case of cells, there are two copies of genes, one which is inherited from the mother and one which is inherited from the father. In those people who have been diagnosed with the Werner Syndrome, there is usually a mutation which is there in both the copies of the particular gene.

Are some people more prone to Werner Syndrome than others?

Since this is a genetic condition, if someone in the family history has ever suffered from this condition, it may increase the risk of the members of that family and they may have a higher chance of having Werner Syndrome.

aging skin treatments

What are the most telling *SYMPTOMS* of Werner Syndrome? How would someone know if they have it?

When someone has Werner Syndrome, he or she may have very specific characteristics that may make it clear that they have the condition. Here are a few signs that you can watch out for.

  • May have cataract in both the eyes
  • Could show changes in the facial features, such as losing muscle mass, sagging skin and wrinkle on the face
  • Have a family history of Werner Symptom and also show one or more of the symptoms themselves
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    Excessive hair loss or greying of the hair, much before age
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    Various types of changes on the skin that are associated with age, such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin turning very dry, skin gets loose, dark and age spots, patches of discolouration, skin starts to look too thin, frequent ulcers, frequent bruising and so on
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    Height does not increase to full as per age

In some cases, here are a few more changes that may be present in a person who is suffering from Werner Syndrome.

  • Increased risk of cancer and osteoporosis and being diagnosed with the same
  • Voice turning high pitched or hoarse
  • Changes in the bones in fingers and toes
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    Problems with fertility
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    Type 2 diabetes
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    Plaque building up in the arteries
wermer syndrome

Are there tests that need to be undergone in order to properly diagnose this disease?

If your doctor finds out more than one of the above symptoms, they may diagnose you with Werner Syndrome.

  • In addition, you may be asked to go for a 24 hour urine hyaluronic acid test.
  • Your doctor may also refer you some types of laboratory tests as well as imaging studies that may help to find out if there are any abnormalities present in the body that are typically associated with Werner Syndrome.
  • Sometimes, the doctor may also suggest other tests that can help to look for diabetes as well as blood sugar levels, and also refer some blood and bone tests. These can help to look for diabetes, osteoporosis and so on.
werner syndrome

What are the available treatments for this disease?

Treatment is usually done by trying to treat each separate symptom that is associated with the condition and is present in the patient. As a result, the medical care team that tries to treat a patient with Werner Syndrome may comprise of medical interns, physicians who are specifically trained to check for and treat problems related to the bone and so on.

What happens if you leave this disease untreated?

Those who have Werner Syndrome may have a higher risk of getting cancer. In case this is not diagnosed and treated on time, it may proceed to more severe health issues and may potentially turn fatal.

Additional Research:

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