June 30, 2011

Finally, help for kids with Progeria

Kids with Progeria.
There is some hopeful news about Progeria in the news today. This is the dreadful disease that makes kids age prematurely, turning them into 80-year-olds by the time they're 12. And 12 years old is pretty much the upper limit for their life span. It's a cruel, horrible disease.

Until now, there has been no effective treatment to offer these children. But a recent study showed that an existing drug, rapamycin, and its derivative, everolimus, is very effective in reducing the excess progerin that causes the disease. I'm so happy that the parents of these kids -- and the kids themselves -- may have something to look forward to.

The story even used that magical word: "reverse". Rapamycin can reverse the damage caused by Progerin. I hope this isn't a red herring or an overstatement. These kids need help yesterday and I'm excited that positive things may finally be on the horizon for them.

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