Scientists are racing toward a better understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a rare disease that speeds the aging process so much that children with the disorder die from diseases typically associated with advanced age, usually in their early teens.
Since the 2003 discovery that a mutation in the LMNA gene causes progeria, scientists have developed several mouse models for the disorder, amassed a growing body of evidence regarding the disease's molecular and cellular basis, and devised experimental treatment strategies. Whether such treatments would be safe and effective for children with progeria remains to be determined, but scientists and advocates are buoyed by the swift pace of progress.
Kuehn BM. Gene Discovery Speeds Progeria Research. JAMA. 2006;295(8):876-878. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.876