Friday, January 27, 2006

Researchers find effective, cheap treatment for cystic fibrosis lung disease

The following two news releases may offer new hope for Cystic Fibrosis patients. A must read for CF families.

From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CHAPEL HILL, Jan. 18, 2006 -- Working half a world away from each other, two teams of medical scientists have identified what they believe is a simple, effective and inexpensive treatment to reduce lung problems associated with cystic fibrosis, the leading fatal genetic illness among whites.

The new therapy, identified through studies supported chiefly by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, also appears to be safe and easy to take.

By inhaling a saltwater aerosol solution almost twice as salty as the Atlantic Ocean for between 10 and 15 minutes at least twice a day, young patients should be able to avoid a significant part of the damage the disease causes to their lungs, the researchers said. That’s because the aerosolized saltwater restores the thin lubricant layer of water that normally coats airway surfaces. This water layer promotes the clearance of the naturally occurring mucus the body uses to trap harmful bacteria, viruses and other foreign particles...
Full news release

From The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Bethesda, MD, January 18, 2006 —An observation by surfers in
Australia has led to a simple, inexpensive hypertonic saline therapy. This concentrated saltwater solution improves airway clearance for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), according to research reported in the Jan. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The idea for the study, supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, began when the Australian surfers with CF told their doctors that their airways felt clearer after exposure to the salt spray. The medical team was aware of some evidence that in CF, salt is depleted from the liquid that lines the airways. The team thus hypothesized that sterile saltwater may be a useful therapy. They were right. Now CF patients worldwide may benefit from this “low tech” treatment... Full news release

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