The History of Cystic Fibrosis

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The History of Cystic Fibrosis What is cystic fibrosis? Cystic fibrosis is caused by a mutated gene. A person diagnosed with cystic fibrosis inherits two mutated cf genes, one from each parent. Everyone who has cystic fibrosis was born with it. After birth cystic fibrosis cannot be developed nor can it be contagious. People with cystic fibrosis have a variety of symptoms. Some cases are severe, while others are mild. It is not curable, but it is treatable. Scientist and doctors believe that there are more than one thousand ways the cf gene can mutate and the various mutations could cause the different symptoms. The cf gene that has the scientific name ABCC7 makes a protein called CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator). The CFTR protein is found in cells called epithelial cells which form a lining inside many organs. Sometimes cystic fibrosis is diagnosed before a baby is born, but many infants are diagnosed shortly after birth. Most infants with cystic fibrosis are born with Meconium Ileus. Most infants without this condition are diagnosed four to six weeks later when parents and doctors notice that the infant coughs frequently, and has not gained weight, even though it is eating enough. To test for cystic fibrosis, doctors often use a basic test called a sweat test. Cystic fibrosis has been affecting humans since the middle ages. Cystic fibrosis was unstudied until the early 1900’s. Without testing every person before they become a parent there is no way to prevent cystic fibrosis, unlike other diseases. Most genetic test are not accurate. Cf has many symptoms that call for many treatments. Each person with cf has different needs, and anyone with cf should take the treatment very seriously. Chest physical therapy (PT) is one of the most important treatments for CF. It helps get rid of it before germs can take hold

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