The Science Show on Werner Syndrome

Here, an Australian radio show looks at Werner syndrome, an accelerated aging condition that appears to be one aspect of normal aging run amok: "People with Werner syndrome age quickly in their early 20s and at this age can look as though they are 70 years old. They die prematurely of old age and show all the signs of normal ageing. There are only 200 known cases in the world. It is caused by the loss of function of one gene and is a perfect model for ageing. This research is assisting in understanding the biochemical pathways of older people's health and may lead to treatments to improve the health of older people." As is the case for progeria, it is possible that therapies for the accelerated aging conditions may have some application in normal aging - it depends on how greatly the specific biochemical dysfunctions involved contribute to "normal" age-related degeneration. My own sense is that they are not in fact important in comparison to the forms of biochemical and cellular damage outlined in the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, but I'm not aware of any rigorous analysis to back that up that sentiment.


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