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Progeria Syndrome

Study of rare disease progeria helps in search for clues on aging

A drug first developed for cancer has shown promise as a treatment for progeria, a rare and fatal rapid-aging disease in children, and it may have implications in treating cardiovascular problems associated with normal aging.In a paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists reported results after a 2½-year trial of 28 children who took Merck & Co.'s lonafarnib. The drug appeared to slow, and in some cases reverse, damage caused by the disease, including arterial stiffness, which also is linked to heart problems in the normal aging population.Although the number of participants in the study is small, the disease is so rare that the children represented 75 percent of the known cases of progeria in the world at the time they enrolled in the trial at Boston Children's Hospital in 2007. Since the trial began, more children with progeria have been identified, said Leslie Gordon, medical director of the Progeria Research Foundation.Children with proger...

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