National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Werner Syndrome is not the name you expected.
Werner Syndrome is a rare progressive disorder that is characterized by the appearance of unusually accelerated aging (progeria). Although the disorder is typically recognized by the third or fourth decades of life, certain characteristic findings are present beginning during adolescence and early adulthood.
Individuals with Werner Syndrome have an abnormally slow growth rate, and there is cessation of growth at puberty. As a result, affected individuals have short stature and low weight relative to height. By age 25, those with the disorder typically experience early graying (canities) and premature loss of scalp hair (alopecia). As the disease progresses, additional abnormalities include loss of the layer of fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous adipose tissue); severe wasting (atrophy) of muscle tissue in certain areas of the body; and degenerative skin changes, particularly in the facial area, the upper arms and hands, and the lower legs and feet (distal extremities). Due to degenerative changes affecting the facial area, individuals with Werner Syndrome may have unusually prominent eyes, a beaked or pinched nose, and/or other characteristic facial abnormalities.
Werner Syndrome may also be characterized by development of a distinctive high-pitched voice; eye abnormalities, including premature clouding of the lenses of the eyes (bilateral senile cataracts); and certain endocrine defects, such as impaired functioning of the ovaries in females or testes in males (hypogonadism) or abnormal production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas and resistance to the effects of insulin (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus). In addition, individuals with Werner syndrome may develop progressive thickening and loss of elasticity of artery walls (arteriosclerosis). Affected blood vessels typically include the arteries that transport oxygen-rich (oxygenated) blood to heart muscle (coronary arteries). Some affected individuals may also be susceptible to developing certain benign (noncancerous) or malignant tumors. Progressive arteriosclerosis, malignancies, and/or associated abnormalities may result in potentially life-threatening complications by approximately the fourth or fifth decade of life. Werner syndrome is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- 2318 Mill Road Suite 800
- Alexandria, VA 22314
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- Fax: (571)366-9537
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Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
- PO Box 8126
- Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
- Tel: (301)251-4925
- Fax: (301)251-4911
- Tel: (888)205-2311
- Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/
International Registry of Werner Syndrome
- University of Washington Department of Pathology
- Box 357470
- Seattle, WA 98195-7470
- Tel: (206)543-5088
- Fax: (206)685-8356
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.wernersyndrome.org/registry/registry.html
March of Dimes
- 1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
- White Plains, NY 10605
- Tel: (914)997-4488
- Fax: (914)997-4763
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- Website: http://www.marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
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- Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/
NIH/National Institute on Aging
- 31 Center Drive, MSC 2292
- Building 31
- Bethesda, MD 20892
- Tel: (301)496-1752
- Fax: (301)496-1072
- Tel: (800)222-2225
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- Website: http://www.nih.gov/nia
Progeria Research Foundation, Inc.
- P.O. Box 3453
- Peabody, MA 01961-3453
- Tel: (978)535-2594
- Fax: (978)535-5849
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.progeriaresearch.org
Rare Cancer Alliance
- 1649 North Pacana Way
- Green Valley, AZ 85614
- Website: http://www.rare-cancer.org
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
Last Updated: 5/15/2015
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