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Today, The Wall Street Journal reports on a landmark study, led by PRF’s Medical Director, that demonstrates the Progeria-causing protein Progerin increases in everyone as we age, suggesting a possible new risk factor for heart disease.
In the September 7, 2010 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Amy Dockser Marcus reports* on an exciting new study that links the protein that causes Progeria with heart disease that develops in millions of people throughout the world.
*New Clue in Heart Disease; Protein That Speeds Aging in Children Also Found in Adults.
Click here for the full press release.
On August 26, 2010, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology electronically published, ahead of print, the results of a study comparing Progeria and typical cardiovascular aging, entitled "Cardiovascular Pathology in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria: Correlation With the Vascular Pathology of Aging". The study found that progerin, the abnormal protein that causes Progeria, is also present in the vasculature of the general population and increases with age, adding to the growing case that there are parallels between normal aging and progeria aging.
Researchers examined cardiovascular autopsies and progerin distribution in patients with Progeria along with a group without Progeria between the ages of one month and 97 years, and found that progerin in individuals without Progeria increased an average of 3.3 percent per year in the coronary arteries.
"We found similarities between many aspects of cardiovascular disease in both Progeria and the atherosclerosis that affects millions of people throughout the world" said Dr. Leslie Gordon, senior author of the study and The Progeria Research Foundation's Medical Director. "By examining one of the rarest diseases in the world, we are gaining crucial insight into a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Ongoing research has the potential to have a significant impact on our understanding of heart disease and aging."
This study supports the possibility that progerin is a contributor to the risk of atherosclerosis in the general population, and merits examination as a potential new trait to help predict heart-disease risk.