London: A drug first developed to cure cancer has shown great promise in treating children with Progeria, a rare and fatal rapid-aging disease, a new study has found. Promising results have emerged from the first-ever clinical drug trial for the condition, including improvements in weight gain, bone structure and heart health. A third of children placed on the drug Ionafarnib demonstrated a greater than 50 per cent increase in annual rate of weight gain or switched from weight loss to weight gain, due to increased muscle and bone mass. On average skeletal rigidity, which was highly abnormal in patients at the time of the trial, improved to normal levels after treatment, the `Daily Mail` reported. Arterial stiffness, which is linked with an increased risk of having a heart attack, decreased by 35 per cent. The genetic condition, which affects one in eight million people, causes the body to age eight times faster than normal.
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