Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition which affects over 10,000 people in the UK with most cases now being diagnosed soon after birth. It affects the lungs and digestive system which become clogged with a thick sticky mucus.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a genetic mutation. The gene it affects (CFTR gene) would normally create a protein which manages the levels of sodium and chloride in cells. When this gene does not work correctly it causes a build up of mucus which can lead to blockages in the body’s passageways. These blockages affect the lungs, digestive system and other organs which causes the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis.
The most common symptoms can include;
Recurring chest and lung infections
Poor weight gain
Most of these symptoms start in early childhood
The following treatments can help prevent or reduce long term damage which can be caused by the recurring infections-
- Inhaled mucus cleaning treatments
Lung transplants (some cases where lungs have been extensively damaged)
At the moment there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis however a few weeks ago a team of Doctors, who have been researching for over 20 years, had a breakthrough moment which they believe may lead to a cure of Cystic Fibrosis.
Initial tests of two drugs have resulted in sufferers no longer displaying signs of the disease, the team are now looking to carry out a full trial.
Although there is still along way to go for the team this is a huge step forward and certainly brings some hope to Cystic Fibrosis sufferers and their families.
Click here to read more about this possible cure and the work which is carried out by the medical team.