Syndrome, Werner

A premature aging disease that begins in adolescence or early in adulthood and results in apparent old age by 30-40 years of age.

The characteristic features of Werner syndrome include short stature, premature graying and balding, wizened face, beaked nose, cataracts, scleroderma-like skin changes (especially in the extremities), subcutaneous calcification (deposits of calcium beneath the skin), premature arteriosclerosis, muscular atrophy and tendencies to diabetes mellitus and to tumors (especially, osteosarcoma and meningioma).

The disorder is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Cells from patients with Werner syndrome have a shorter lifespan in cell culture than do normal cells.

The gene for Werner syndrome, symbolized WRN, is on chromosome 8 (in the region of bands 8p12-p11.2. It is a RECQL2 gene which encodes what is termed a RecQ DNA helicase. Bloom syndrome, which has features quite different from those of Werner syndrome, is caused by defects in another human RecQ-like helicase, RECQL3.

Werner syndrome has been much studied as a genetic model of aging. It is named for the German physician Otto Werner (1879-1936). In his doctoral dissertation in 1904, Werner described 4 sisters with cataracts and scleroderma-like skin. The name “Werner’s syndrome” was first used in 1934 by two Americans, BS Oppenheimer and Kugel VH, who rediscovered Werner’s dissertation.

Werner syndrome has nothing whatsoever to do with Werner-His disease which is a louse-borne illness first recognized in the trenches of World War I and so named trench fever.

Read Also:

  • Syndrome, Witkop

    A genetic disorder characterized by the absence of several teeth at birth and abnormalities of the nails. The disorder is also known as hypodontia and nail dysgenesis or, more picturesquely, as the tooth and nail syndrome (TNS). The tooth and nail defects in the syndrome are highly variable. The number and type of congenitally missing […]

  • Syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson-White

    Louis Wolff, Sir John Parkinson, and Paul Dudley White.

  • Syndrome, WPW

    Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

  • Syndrome, Zellweger

    A genetic disorder, also called the cerebrohepatorenal syndrome, characterized by the reduction or absence of peroxisomes (cell structures that rid the body of toxic substances) in the cells of the liver, kidneys, and brain. Zellweger syndrome is one of a group of disorders called the leukodystrophies, all of which affect the myelin sheath, the fatty […]

  • Syndrome, yeast

    The yeast Candida has been thought to cause a syndrome with a number of nonspecific problems including fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, short-attention span, depression and all manner of intestinal irregularities. There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of the yeast syndrome (also called the yeast connection).

Disclaimer: Syndrome, Werner definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.