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March 25, 1974

Progeria: A Possible Therapeutic Approach

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1974;227(12):1381-1382. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230250013009

To the Editor.—  An editorial by Samuel Vaisrub (226:1565, 1973) under the title "Nature's Experiment in Unnatural Aging," discussed the possibility of learning from one of nature's mistakes how to retard the aging process. He pointed out that progeria, a disease inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, is characterized by precocious senility, and that "the afflicted child with his wizened face, dwarfed stature, and the general appearance of senility usually dies of coronary heart disease during the first or second decade of life." Further evidence of senility has been established by finding deposits of lipofuscin, the "age pigment," in various cells of the body, and by the incidence of focal fibrosis of the myocardium.This pigment, according to Tappel1 and other investigators, results from destructive autooxidation (lipid peroxidation) of the lipid portion of the biological membranes of cells and intracellular organelles. It is believed to represent an important factor