Scientists of different countries are trying to uncover an eerie secret and at least understand why about 100 children on Earth in just 10 years become old men and die?
Hutchinson-Guilford syndrome, often called “progeria” (premature aging), occurs once for 4 to 8 million newborns and leaves no chance for the patient to survive until at least twenty years.
This disease is so rare that all of its victims are known. Presumably, there are about a hundred of them all over the world. Progeria affects one-year-old babies regardless of gender, race or social status. Progeria begins suddenly with the appearance of large pigment spots on the abdomen. Soon the kid gets senile. There develop heart and blood vessels diseases, diabetes, hair and teeth fall out, subcutaneous fat disappears. The bones are brittle, the skin is wrinkled, and the bodies are hunched. Any interest in life disappears. Children constantly think about death, even while playing. But at the same time, they grow a little, reaching about 120 centimeters. The most surprising thing is that almost all of them become similar to each other. Like twins. It’s as if someone specially cloned them or brought out a different race of people who live in accelerated time.
The reasons for progeria are unknown. But, according to scientists, the problem is most likely in the genes. There is a hypothesis that they suddenly stop giving commands to cells to share. Similar processes also happen for normal people, only much slower.
Scientists have taken as a basis the hypothesis about the tips of DNA and are now trying to lengthen them with special enzymes. There were even reports that American scientists were able to prolong the life of flies in this way.
Americans put forward the theory that the point mutation is to blame for an old-aged childhood, during which only one nucleotide changes in the composition of the complex DNA molecule. Now scientists hope that a drug will be found that will correct the error in the structure of lamin A.
The return of youth
A few years ago, doctors undertook to cure premature aging of a young Lithuanian. At age 29, he looked at all 70. As it turned out, the reason for this was the hormone drug prescribed by doctors – Prednisolone, after which he began to lose weight, lose teeth, changes on the face began, the skin quickly lost the fatty layer. At that time, doctors had two versions, why in the body of their patient occurred such processes. There were two variants: liver disease or taking a hormone drug.
As an experiment, two plastic operations were performed and 30 years of life were returned. But the most amazing thing is that the scientists promise not only to return the former appearance to their patient, they want to cure him of premature aging, they promise that the disease will not manifest itself again. The Lithuanian patient will undergo cell transplantation, and doctors will try to restore the hormonal balance in the body, relying on knowledge in the field of immunology, biochemistry, and cell biology.
Turn back the clock
Perhaps, doctors will be able to invent a cure for progeria precisely on the basis of the science of transplantation. In fact, it will become that coveted “elixir of youth”, about which people dream. Some scientists in this regard think cynically, but it is logical. They compare the mechanism of aging with the sentinel, which, in principle, is subject to constant adjustment. The basis of the method in the elementary replacement of “worn out” organs with the new ones. Of course, the medicine’s prototype can’t yet be bought at the pharmacy: it’s just a project. At the moment, this treatment option is studied in the most detailed way by the specialists around the world.