Progeria Essay, Research Paper
A. Imagine for a second that you are a six-year-old. Your friends invite you out to
play but you can t because you have a painful case of arthritis that hurts with every step you take. Or your chronic heart disease enables you from being able to breathe easily. These conditions are just a few that a child with Progeria may suffer from. Progeria, also known as Hutchinson Gilford Syndrome, is an extremely rare aging disease that causes a child to age up to eight times faster than normal.
B. Therefore, today I will inform you about Progeria.
C. Today in my speech I will inform you of;
1. When Progeria was discovered and how it got its name.
2. The signs and symptoms that an individual with Progeria suffers from.
3. The suspected cause.
4. Finally, an important organization that support children and their families with Progeria.
A. Lets begin with who discovered Progeria.
1. Jonathon Hutchinson first acknowledged Progeria in 1886.
a. Six years later in a published article, Hastings Gilford affirmed the disease
and named it Progeria, meaning, Before Old Age.
b. For these reasons, that is how the disease got its name, the Hutchinson
Gilford Syndrome also known as Progeria.
c. During the discovery there was two people who had the disease.
2. According to the Progeria Website there are many signs to detect the
presence of Progeria.
a. Individuals with Progeria appear normal at birth, its not until about the age of one that signs become evident.
(1) These signs include: (visual aide) baldness, prominent scalp veins,
a narrow chest, enlargement of the spleen, the absence of eyebrows
and lashes, they relatively have a large head with small faces, and
crowded irregular teeth.
(2) Growth is extremely stunted and may only reach the height of a
normal two-year-old and sometimes no higher than a five-year-old.
b. A child with Progeria is just a normal six-year-old in a seventy-year old body.
(1) The sex organs remain small and under developed and are unable to
(2) A few are mentally retarded but most have normal intelligence.
c. Death is often due to stroke and heart attack.
3. An article in Current Science suggests that in normal aging cells throughout
the body commit a kind of cellular suicide.
a. In other words, People with Progeria their cells die very quickly and don t
produce new cells as a result it speeds up the aging process.
b. However, the Progeria Website, explains that too much Hyaluronic-
Acid in the urine is a bad thing.
(1) HA is necessary for life because it helps hold tissue together.
(2) The study shows that kids with Progeria and some elderly have high levels of HA.
(a) Too much HA builds up plaque in the blood vessels causing heart
attacks and strokes.
(b) If such connection were confirmed it could lead to therapies to
Fight both Progeria and cardiovascular disease by lowering HA levels.
4. There is no cure for Progeria, but there are organizations that support these
children and families.
a. One such organization is the Sunshine Foundation.
b. The foundation helps grant the dreams and wishes of children with chron(2) Each year the Sunshine Foundation sponsors a Progeria reunion that
ic and terminal diseases.
(1) According to the Sunshine Foundation home page, they have granted
Over 23,500 dreams and wishes for kids since 1976.
allows families meet and get to know each other who are experiencing the same thing.
A. In conclusion, I have informed you of who discovered Progeria, the signs and
symptoms, the suspected causes, and finally an organization the support Progeria.
B. Now I hope you all will be familiar with the extremely rare aging disease
known as Porgeria.
C. The cause of this rare disorder is not fully understood. Today, Doctors don t yet know what causes Progeria, but they maybe getting closer to an answer. Hopefully then, they will find a cure. The Current Science article states that, Progeria occurs in one out of every four million births. I hope you now have appreciation for the disease and I thank you for your time.