Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. That means people inherit it from their parents through genes (or DNA), which also determine a lot of other characteristics, including height, hair color and eye color. Genes, found in the nucleus of all the body’s cells, control cell function by serving as the blueprint for the production of proteins.
The severity of cystic fibrosis symptoms is different from person to person. New research shows that the severity of CF symptoms is partly based on the types of CF gene mutations, or defects. Scientists have found more than 1,500 different mutations of the CF gene.
How can you know for sure if you or your child has cystic fibrosis? If someone in your family has the disease, could you pass it down to your children?
Staying healthy and maintaining optimal lung function requires people with cystic fibrosis to follow a regular treatment routine. The therapies for CF include airway clearance techniques, a variety of medications and good nutrition. If and when a person with CF develops severe lung disease, they may discuss the option of lung transplantation with their CF care team.
Scientists and researchers are working every day to find a cure for cystic fibrosis and also to develop treatments that greatly improve the quality of life for CF patients. Each day since the cystic fibrosis gene was discovered in 1989, the pace of CF research has greatly accelerated, and scientists continue to find ways to help those who live with the disease.