Progeria is an extremely rare disease also known as rapid aging syndrome. In the previous article we covered some of the causes and symptoms but in this article we’ll cover risk factors, diagnosis, and possible treatments for Progeria in young children.
Unlike many other health issues, there are no explicit factors such as lifestyle, hereditary, environmental issues, etc, which can enhance the chance of delivering a child with Progeria. This health condition is really rare. In fact, the chances for a mother who already has a child with Progeria, delivering another with the same health condition, is 2 or 3% only.
There are certain complications that can occur in children suffering from Progeria. One of the most common problems is atherosclerosis. In this condition, the walls of the blood vessels which transport oxygen and essential nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body, tend to get thicker. This would restrict blood flow through the body of the patient. This may, in turn, result in certain cardiovascular issues and cerebrovascular problems. The former affects the arteries which supply blood from the heart, and causes heart failure or heart attacks. The latter affects the arteries that supply blood from the brain, and often results in stroke.
Care must be taken if you find one of the aforesaid or any other symptoms, of premature aging or abnormal growth, in your baby. In such cases, it is recommended to take your child to a pediatrician right away. With a thorough check-up, a doctor would be able to diagnose Progeria easily, since most times the symptoms are almost starkly evident. Tests may include hearing and vision examination, pulse and blood pressure monitoring, analyzing the height and weight of your child, etc. Finally, the care professional would suggest a blood test in order to confirm the health issue. Usually, specialists in medical genetics are the ones tp deal with such patients. Note that the blood test is done to check for the LMNA mutations, which might take some time to confirm Progeria, since it is really rare.
As mentioned earlier, there is no proper treatment for Progeria. However, the condition of an affected child can be managed by regularly checking for heart and blood vessel issues. In addition, there are certain medications and therapies which can reduce the intensity of symptoms in the sufferer. Some of those treatment options include low-dose aspirin, statins, anticoagulants, physical therapies, dental care, high-calorie food and supplements, etc. However, the treatment methods may vary for different children according to condition as well as intensity of symptoms.