The aging process is triggered when the mutation causes the gene to start creating a protein called progerin. This in turn causes cells in the body to disintegrate, just as they might do in an elderly person. And as the protein multiplies it collects in the cells and accelerates the aging process.
In most cases, signs of the illness will present themselves during the first 12 months of life. Patients often have a reduced lifespan, with many dying before they reach their teenage years. However, the prognosis for early life is positive and in the case of the Patros’ child, doctors believe he will enjoy a healthy childhood.