Treatment

There's no cure for progeria, but regular monitoring for heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease may help with managing your child's condition.

During medical visits, your child's weight and height is measured and plotted on a chart of normal growth values. Additional regular evaluations, including electrocardiograms and dental, vision and hearing exams, may be recommended by your doctor to check for changes.

Certain therapies may ease or delay some of the signs and symptoms. Treatments depend on your child's condition and symptoms. These may include:

  • Low-dose aspirin. A daily dose may help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
  • Other medications. Depending on your child's condition, the doctor may prescribe other medications, such as statins to lower cholesterol, drugs to lower blood pressure, anticoagulants to help prevent blood clots, and medications to treat headaches and seizures.
  • Physical and occupational therapy. These therapies may help with joint stiffness and hip problems to help your child remain active.
  • Nutrition. Nutritious, high-calorie foods and supplements can help maintain adequate nutrition.
  • Dental care. Dental problems are common in progeria. Consultation with a pediatric dentist experienced with progeria is recommended.

Potential future treatment

Current research seeks to understand progeria and identify new treatment options. Some areas of research include:

  • Studying genes and the course of the disease to understand how it progresses. This may help identify new treatments.
  • Studying ways to prevent heart and blood vessel disease.
  • Performing human clinical trials using drugs known as farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs), such as lonafarnib, which were developed for treating cancer, but may be effective for treatment of progeria by helping with weight gain and increased flexibility of blood vessels.
  • Testing other drugs for treatment of progeria.
April 27, 2017
References
  1. National Library of Medicine. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/hutchinson-gilford-progeria-syndrome. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  2. Learning about progeria. National Human Genome Research Institute. https://www.genome.gov/11007255/learning-about-progeria/. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  3. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria. National Organization for Rare Disorders. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hutchinson-gilford-progeria/. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  4. Progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/miscellaneous-disorders-in-infants-and-children/progeria. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  5. Progeria. National Institutes of Health. https://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/viewfactsheet.aspx?csid=59. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  6. Chronic illness and children. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/The-Child-With-A-Long-Term-Illness-019.aspx. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  7. Swahari V, et al. Speeding up the clock: The past, present and future of progeria. Development, Growth and Differentiation. 2016;58:116.
  8. The progeria handbook: A guide for families and health care providers of children with progeria. Progeria Research Foundation. http://www.progeriaresearch.org/patient_care.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  9. Johnson JN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 6, 2017.