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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.

Can a person with Werner syndrome not show any of the symptoms or get older?
     David Adams, M.D., Ph.D.: Studying rare inborn errors of metabolism and other rare genetic syndromes to understand the disease process and identify potential treatments. Werner syndrome is an inherited condition in which affected individuals have symptoms that appear similar to normal aging but that appear earlier in life. There is also a predisposition to some cancers. Persons with Werner syndrome typically develop normally during the first decade of life, so during that time they may not show any symptoms as you suggest. For more information about Werner syndrome, I recommend the Genetics Home Reference. This link worked for me: I have not seen any reports in the literature of a person who has the genetic changes associated with Werner syndrome, but does not have any of the symptoms. That being said, symptoms may appear at variable ages. I recommend that you find a geneticist in your area if you have additional questions.
Flint Northern Academy in MI (10th grade student)

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