Atypical Werner syndrome refers to a heterogeneous group of cases that are clinically diagnosed as Werner syndrome (WS; see this term) but do not carry WRN gene mutations. Similar to classical WS caused by WRN mutations, patients generally exhibit an aged appearance and common age-related disorders at earlier ages compared to the general population.
The prevalence is unknown.
Atypical WS shows accelerated aging characterized by short stature, thinning/graying of hair, a ''bird-like'' facial appearance, skin atrophy, lipodystrophy, myopathy along with other age-related disorders such as osteoporosis and atherosclerosis. Compared to WS, it has an earlier age of onset (early 20s or earlier) and a more rapid rate of progression. Cataracts are often not present.
A subset of atypical WS is caused by the mutation of the LMNA gene, the same causal gene seen in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS; see this term) that codes for the nuclear intermediate filament, lamin A/C. The LMNA type of atypical WS follows an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. Additional causes of atypical WS are being discovered, and their inheritance patterns elucidated.
Last update: April 2012
- Dr Fuki HISAMA
- Dr George MARTIN
- Dr Junko OSHIMA