Overview

Progeria (pro-JEER-e-uh), also known as Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, is an extremely rare, progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly, starting in their first two years of life.

Children with progeria generally appear normal at birth. During the first year, signs and symptoms, such as slow growth and hair loss, begin to appear.

Heart problems or strokes are the eventual cause of death in most children with progeria. The average life expectancy for a child with progeria is about 13 years. Some with the disease may die younger and others may live longer, even up to 20 years.

There's no cure for progeria, but ongoing research shows some promise for treatment.