Progeria: Facing old age is hard - facing it during childhood is unthinkable

August 26, 2003

Fleur Tobutt was a lot like every other two-year old. She was cute, curious and full of life, but something set her apart from the typical toddler: Fleur had a fatal disease, and her life was destined to be short lived.

Little Fleur was one in approximately 30 to 40 children worldwide currently diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Progeria. Children with Progeria are, in spirit, just the same as any other child, but physically, they look like very old men and women and live an average lifespan of only 13 years. Discovery Health Channel features Fleur's story, PROGERIA: TOO YOUNG TO BE OLD, Tuesday, September 9 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Progeria is a condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging among children. Although one in eight million are diagnosed at birth, the total incidence is one in four million. Not only do children with Progeria look extremely old, but their bodies are affected by age-related diseases, such as stroke, heart attack and stiffness in joints. Common physical symptoms include dwarfism, baldness, aged skin, a pinched nose, and a small face and jaw relative to the size of the head.

Although there is currently no cure for this disease, National Cancer Institute scientists have made remarkable discoveries pertaining to Progeria. In examining an animal model with Progeria, scientists noticed a specific mutation in the Lamin A gene, which seems to account for Progeria symptoms. This new research brings scientists closer to some day finding a cure for this disease and offers hope to those living with it.

Sadly, Fleur lost her battle with Progeria at nearly three years old. This program gives viewers the opportunity to share in the life of Fleur Tobutt and her family as they face this devastating disease. Viewers will also experience the joy and tears of other children living with Progeria as the cameras capture a very special reunion for kids suffering from this disease worldwide.

PROGERIA: TOO YOUNG TO BE OLD was produced by Planet Wild for ITV. For Planet Wild, the executive producer was Paula Trafford. For Discovery Health Channel, Clare Roy is supervising producer.

Discovery Health Channel takes viewers inside the fascinating and informative world of health and medicine to experience firsthand, compelling, real-life stories of medical breakthroughs and human triumphs. Currently in 44 million homes, Discovery Health Channel is the only 24-hour network and Web site - discovery.com/health - devoted to what matters most - health.
-end-


Discovery Health Channel

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.