Usually within the first year of life, growth of a child with progeria slows markedly, but motor development and intelligence remain normal.
Signs and symptoms of this progressive disorder include a distinctive appearance:
- Slowed growth, with below-average height and weight
- Narrowed face, small lower jaw, thin lips and beaked nose
- Head disproportionately large for face
- Prominent eyes and incomplete closure of the eyelids
- Hair loss, including eyelashes and eyebrows
- Thinning, spotty, wrinkled skin
- Visible veins
- High-pitched voice
Signs and symptoms also include health issues:
- Hardening and tightening of skin on trunk and extremities (similar to scleroderma)
- Delayed and abnormal tooth formation
- Some hearing loss
- Loss of fat under the skin and loss of muscle mass
- Fragile bones
- Stiff joints
- Hip dislocation
- Insulin resistance
- Severe progressive heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
When to see a doctor
Call for an appointment with your doctor if your child does not appear to be growing or developing normally, including problems with hair loss, skin changes or slowed growth.
May 03, 2014
- Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders; 2011. http://dorlands.com/index.jsp. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Learning about progeria. National Human Genome Research Institute. http://www.genome.gov/11007255. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/miscellaneous_disorders_in_infants_and_children/progeria.html. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Disorders of accelerated aging. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/older_peoples_health_issues/the_aging_body/disorders_of_accelerated_aging.html. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- When your child is diagnosed with chronic illness: How to cope. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/chronic-illness-child.aspx. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Coping with chronic illness. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chronic/pages/Coping-With-Chronic-Illness.aspx. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Progeria. National Institutes of Health. http://report.nih.gov/NIHfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=59&key=P#P. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Gordon LB, et al. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. GeneReviews (Internet). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1121/. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Coppede F. Premature aging syndrome. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2012;724:317.
- Kirmani S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 19, 2014.
- Johnson JN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 23, 2014.
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