Towards a Progeria Therapy

From Newswise, an update on progress towards treating progeria - and maybe "normal" aging too: "Scientists studying the genes of two infants who died of mysterious illnesses found the infants had mutations in LMNA, the same gene altered in patients with the premature aging condition progeria. ... when researchers treated cell samples from one of the patients with a drug targeted for progeria, they saw signs that the cells were improving. ... progeria treatment may not be as distant as we thought. If physicians can reduce production of bad lamin A by as little as half in progeria patients, we might see significant improvement. ... Progeria treatment also has potential implications for larger populations. The LMNA gene is involved in several other more prevalent disorders including forms of muscular dystrophy and heart disease. ... recent studies by other labs have shown that occasional errors in the production of lamin A may take place even in people with 'normal' copies of the gene. Scientists suspect that accumulation of these bad copies may contribute to aging. If so, treatments that work for progeria patients may one day be adapted to reduce the effects of aging."



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