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Progeria:The Aging Disease Essay

789 words - 4 pages

Genetic diseases have affected mankind throughout history. They cause harm and death to humans. In medieval times people would watch others perish and not know the cause. In the past 100 years, scientists have started researching genetic diseases (citation). An example of a genetic disease that scientist have recently discovered is progeria. Progeria is a rare genetic condition that causes rapid aging in children. Millions of people around the world have progeria as every 1 in 4 to 8 million have the disease (citation). It is important to know what causes progeria and its internal and external effects.
Progeria is caused by a point mutation in the gene for a nuclear lamin known as lamin A. The gene for lamin A builds a protein that causes progeria called progerin. Progin makes the nucleus unstable and causes cellular instability. When a cell with an unstable nucleus reproduces the cells it makes have an unstable nucleus as well. That cellular instability leads to the process of premature aging. The altered protein also makes cells die prematurely. If cells die prematurely the person with the disease will as well. Progeria is not normally passed down from generation to generation, however parents that have had a child have a higher chance of having another one with progeria. This is due to a condition called mosaicism. This is where a parent has a genetic mutation in a small part of their cells but does not have it. So a parent will not get the effects of the disease but there child has a higher chance of having it. The cause of progeria is important to know about. On the other hand, the effects are what makes one realize that someone has the disease so they are just as important to have knowledge of.
This genetic mutation has numerous external effects . The external effects can help one realize that they have the disease. Loss of hair is one external effect that is noticeable. The aging process is sped up to that extent the hair falls out. This is why one would not see any 80 year olds with hair on their head. Rapid aging in progeria also causes one to to be short and skinny because of a loss of fat that is caused by the disease. People with progeria also barley grow. To add on, a person with progeria has a very...

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