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Affecting over 8,500 people in the UK, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases.
Around half of the CF population can expect to live over 38 years, although improvements in treatments mean a baby born today could expect to live even longer.
A single gene mutation that controls the movement of salt in the body causes the internal organs (eg lungs and digestive tract) of sufferers become clogged with thick, sticky mucus resulting in infections and inflammation making it hard to breathe and digest food.
For a baby to be born with Cystic Fibrosis (ie dominant for the mutated gene), both parents must be heterozygous for the faulty CF gene. Where both parents carry the faulty gene, each child has a one in four chance of having CF (homologous for the mutated gene), a two in four chance of being a carrier and a one in four chance of not having any CF genes (homologous for the normal gene).
Treatment options include physiotherapy exercise, medication, nutritional supplements as there is currently no cure.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is characterized by a buildup of mucus in the lungs and other areas of the body, which can cause respiratory, digestive and other problems. A total of 70,000 people worldwide are affected by CF, for which current management strategies include treatment with antibiotics to control chronic lung infections, and lung transplantation.
Source; Adapted from The Cystic Fibrosis Trust