Progeria narrowly refers to Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, but the term is also used more generally to describe any of the so-called "accelerated aging diseases". The word progeria is derived from the Greek for "prematurely old".

  1. Symptoms generally begin appearing around 18-24 months of age. The condition is distinguished by limited growth, alopecia and a characteristic appearance with small face and jaw and pinched nose.
  2. Later the condition causes wrinkled skin, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular problems.
  3. Mental development is not affected.
  4. Individuals with the condition rarely live more than 16 years; the longest recorded life-span was 29 years.
  5. The development of symptoms is comparable to aging at a rate six to eight times faster than normal, although certain age-related conditions do not occur.