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Progeria Report Essay

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Genetics determine the traits an individual will inherit from their parents. In society today, the role of genetics is crucial; they decide ones physical appearance as well as their personality. However, if there is a mutation located in one of the genes that a child receives it is very likely a deformity will be present. A rare yet fatal defect from a gene mutation such as this is Progeria. This disorder is an unfortunate one that may occur in two forms, either Hutchison-Gilford Progeria or Werner syndrome. Not only do they affect the bone structure and appearance of the child, but they substantially shorten their life spans.
Hutchison-Gilford disorder was first discovered and described by John Hutchison in
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People with Progeria are very short in stature and have thin limbs, prominent joints, and hip dislocations (Werner).
Progeria is a rare disorder; therefore, the transmission of the disease from parent to offspring is not a likely occurrence. However, when the disease is transmitted both mother and father must carry a mutant gene. If just one parent is carrying a single mutant gene, they will not show any symptoms of Progeria and will not pass it along to their offspring. When both parents carry the gene, their offspring now has a 25% chance of being born with Progeria..
Progeria is an autosomal recessive disease, which means it is not carried on a sex chromosome. Hutchison-Gilford Progeria is caused by a mutation in Lamin A. Lamin A is a fibrous protein involved in the structure of the nuclear membrane. When there is a mutation in Lamin A it is likely the nucleus loses its normal shape and therefore its function is compromised. As of now, it is known that this is the cause of Progeria itself; however, neither doctors nor scientist can determine what this mutation has to do with the aging-like deformities of Progeria (Kugler).
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