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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Werner's syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Werner syndrome
  • WRN
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Werner's syndrome is a disease chiefly characterized by premature aging and cancer predisposition. Development is typically normal until the end of the first decade; the first sign is the lack of a growth spurt during puberty. Early signs (usually in the 20s) include loss and graying of hair, hoarseness, and scleroderma-like skin changes, followed by cataracts, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypogonadism, skin ulcers, and osteoporosis in the 30s. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cancer are the most common causes of death, which typically occurs in the late 40s. It is caused by mutations in the WRN gene and is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Management focuses on treatment of signs and symptoms and prevention of secondary complications.[1]
Last updated: 4/29/2011


  1. Dru F Leistritz, Nancy Hanson, George M Martin, Junko Oshima . Werner Syndrome. GeneReviews. March 8, 2007; Accessed 4/29/2011.
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Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Werner's syndrome. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The !LINK! provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) was established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information.  Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Werner's syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.