Cystic Fibrosis : An Overview

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University of Michigan-Flint Cystic Fibrosis An overview Abdullah Alamri BIO328 Summer 2014 Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that ultimately leads to death. It affects every racial group worldwide, but its prevalence varies from country to country. In those with cystic fibrosis, the lungs and digestive system are primarily affected by the disease. With the new developments in treatment and management, the 50 percent survival rate from the 1970’s has greatly improved, allowing patients to continue to live their lives longer than ever expected in the past. The new developments in prevention of exacerbations, therapy drugs and methods to preserve lung function have done great things to help patients extend their lives.…show more content…
Unfortunately, since it is a recessive genetic disease, there are many men and women who are carriers of the disease without actually having the disease themselves. If each parent is a non-affected carrier of cystic fibrosis, there is only a 25 percent chance of having a non-affected, non-carrier child and 50 percent chance of having a child that is a non-affected carrier of cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately there is also a 25 percent chance of having a child affected by cystic fibrosis. This makes prenatal genetic screening very important. Pathophysiology Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a genetic defect in Chromosome 7. Chromosome 7 encodes the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, also known as CFTR. There are over 1,000 mutations of this gene causing cystic fibrosis, with each mutation manifesting as a different variation of disease onset and clinical presentation. The most common mutation is the loss of phenylalanine residue at deltaF508. The abnormal functioning CFTR causes impaired chloride transport and more viscous secretions. The defect causes dehydrated secretions in the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract. Being dehydrated, these secretions become more difficult to move throughout the body. Along with impaired mucociliary clearance, this leads to chronic infection and inflammation, which in turn leads to more impaired mucociliary clearance. It unfortunately becomes an endless
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