CF patients experience frequent difficulties breathing and recurrent infections.In addition, patients often experience other respiratory symptoms like persistent coughing, wheezing, exercise intolerance, and inflamed nasal passages or a stuffy nose.While the diagnosis was already possible through a sweat test developed in 1959, there were no methods of treatment and the mucus would rapidly accumulate in the lungs and digestive tracts of CF patients.
The couple, from Camelon, Falkirk, then had to consider a complex set of options to ensure that if they had a baby, it would be protected from the genetic condition that causes mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system.
“In 1962, the predicted median survival for CF patients was about 10 years, with few surviving into their teenage years,” according to the NIH.
From a fact sheet published online, the NIH maintains: NIH researchers found that the underlying problem for patients with CF was a defect in salt transport through their cell membranes.
In CF patients, however, the mucus is thick and sticky, adversely affecting the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses, and reproductive organs.
The mucus ends up accumulating in the lungs and airways, making it easier for bacteria to grow and infection to set in.