Sunday, November 22, 2009

PROGERIA - Reel 'Paa' comes to real Bagalkot

Hanumantha Hardolli and Rekha Hardolli grew up as any other baby after birth. Suddenly, their lives began to zoom by too fast. Their skin began to wrinkle, they developed bow legs, and began to lose sub-cutanous fat. Their faces showed clear signs they were growing old faster than children their age.

Age, it seemed, was catching up with Hanumantha and Rekha. Baffled and mystified, their parents consulted almost all district paediatricians who could not diagnose what the children suffered from.

This rare disorder -- a disease actually -- is called Progeria, and it causes premature aging and usually results in early-adolescent death from cardiovascular complications.

While boy is just eight and looks like a 60-year-old man, girl ten times older than her age. The two are from Guledagudda in Badami taluk of Baglkot district.

Hanumantha does not mix with others because of some deformity but looks very old and the case of his four-year old sister is no different Suddenly, there is awareness about the disorder following the publicity to movie ‘Paa’, starring Amitabh Bachchan and his son, Abhishek. The movie deals with a person afflicted with ‘Progeria’ and the role is donned by 67-year-old Hindi star Amitabh. With a lot of publicity in the media about the production of the movie and how Amitabh went about preparing for the role, people have learnt a lot about the disorder.

What is Progeria?

Progeria, meaning premature ageing in Greek is a genetic disorder. Its alternative nomenclature is Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome. It is said that such children normally do not survive more than 20 years.

As it is a genetic disease, there is no proper definite cure and the children are given calcium tablets to strength their bones and normal medicine to bring temperature down.