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".
- 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.
- Later the condition causes wrinkled skin, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular problems.
- Mental development is not affected.
- Individuals with the condition rarely live more than 16 years; the longest recorded life-span was 29 years.
- 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.