Imagine in your early adolescents being diagnosed with a disease that increases your aging. Doctors tell you that there is no known cure and that you will die by the age of fifty. There is a disease that increases your aging, that disease is known as Werner Syndrome. A medical student named Carl Wilhelm Otto Werner (1879-1936) first diagnosed this syndrome in 1905.
The University of Kiel invited Werner , to examine four siblings in their early late 30”s with similar symptoms. He reported that they had cataracts, premature graying, and loss of hair.
Thirty years later, Oppenheimer and Kugel describe a similar case of what they termed “Werner Syndrome”(Harvard, pg.1 of 1).
Werner Syndrome is an inherited disease in which patients develop symptoms post puppetry that resumes in rapid aging (Oppenheimer and Kugle 1 of 2). (WS) is a recessive disease that had been found in DNA.
The gene for Werner Syndrome is found in the small region in chromosome 8.
The genetic disease is recessive meaning that a child must inherit a defective copy from each parent to develop Werner.
(Harvard 1of 3) One in out of every 200 people may carry a single copy of the defective gene.
Since the finding of Werner syndrome gene in 1995, up to 10 mutation have been reported. Most people that are diagnosed with Werner Syndrome are of Japanese decent. Although this syndrome is more common in Japan, Werner Syndrome strikes about three in every 1 million people worldwide (SIRS Source 2of 3).
Cataracts, Osteoporosis, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and other diseases are some of the many ills that plague patients with Werner Syndrome. These diseases do not strike in the seventh or eight decade of life it strikes in the third. (SIRS Source 3of 3). Victims of Werner Syndrome appear to be normal during their teens, but they began to show dramatic differences from there contemporaries in their 20’s (SIRS Source 2 of 3)
Although there is no known cure for WS, recent studies show that the gene
linked to Werner Syndrome has been cloned. Dwane Hewite states “That it appears to be a DNA Helices. A DNA Helices are known to be involved in the repair and the replication and expression of genetic material”(pg. 1of 2. The cloning of the Werner Syndrome gene is important to scientist, because a cure could be found in the process of studying this gene. Also in the future scientist can find other cures for disease, like cancers and heart disease and decrease the aging process. Some studies show that gene therapy can also contribute to slowing the process of Werner Syndrome. According to Schellenbrg “ The problem is that people with Werner Syndrome have so many different organs that a messed up, that means that you would have to give gene theory to the entire body, and that would be impossible to do”(1of 2).
The reason why studying Werner Syndrome is so important because scientist can get at the underlining mechanism of what causes Werner Syndrome .Schellenberg states, “When you see something go wrong then you’ve got a handle on when things go right.
Hewitt, Duane Premature Aging gene Cloned. Science :272:199 December 10, 1996 [email protected]
Lombard, D.B and Guarantee , L. (1996). Cloning the gene for Werner syndrome: a disease with many symptoms of premature aging. TGI 12, 283-236.
Los Angeles Times(Los Angeles California) Copyright, April 12, 1996 pp.A1+
SIRS Knowledge Source Copyright 2000 SIRS Mandarin , Inc. [email protected]
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