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The Symptoms, Causes And Remedies For Cystic Fibrosis

1287 words - 6 pages

Writing Assignment Anthropology 1

Cystic Fibrosis

Patricia Cascio


Anthropology 1 Writing Assignment: Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the secretory gland. The secretory gland is where mucus and sweat are created. The mucus is a sticky, watery like tissue that lines certain body cavities and organs. It is needed to keep those areas moist and to prevent infection. Rather like the way cars need lubricants to keep all parts moving and functioning properly. However, people whom have this mutated gene produce excessive amounts of a sticky, thick type lubricant. “The disease is caused by mutations in a single gene” (Fitzgerald). “First identified in 1989, this is a 230 kb gene on the long arm of chromosome 7 which encodes a 1480 amino acid protein called Cystic Fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR). Mutations in a membrane protein cause secretions such as mucus and digestive juices to be abnormally thick and sticky” (Masel). More than 1100 mutations of this gene have been identified to date (Fitzgerald).
This genetic disease is inherited meaning it is passed on from parent (mom and dad) to child but both mom and dad must have the mutated gene in order for this to occur. Cystic Fibrosis does not have gender or racial specifications. However, Caucasians of Northern European decent have a higher occurrence rate than those of Latinos and American Indian decent followed by African Americans and Asian Americans who have the lowest rate of occurrence. “The Republic of Ireland has the highest incidence in the world at one in 1461 live births In the UK; the incidence is one in 2500 live births” (Fitzgerald). Presently it is estimated that there is over 9 million Americans, who serve as possible carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis mutated gene. Many of which do not realize they carry this gene. Genetic testing would be required to identify possible carriers, but currently test cost money and medical insurances are unwilling to make that part of routine screenings and people just cannot afford to pay out of their own pockets. Therefore, one must wait until a child is born with Cystic Fibrosis in order for the mutated gene to be identified in the family tree.
Historically the mortality age was very low. With death occurring before 5years of age, but with more research and understanding of the gene mutations, we have better treatment options. Thus, diagnosing and recognizing the symptoms has greatly improved, and depending on the severity of the disease, the symptoms may not show up until the teen or adult years. Cystic Fibrosis affects many organs and in those organs lays the information necessary to diagnose this disease. One symptom is excessive mucus that forms in the Lungs. The mucus continues to accumulate and block the airways, allowing bacteria to grow causing an infection. As a the infected patient continues to deal with this disease, the lungs weaken over time due to reoccurring infections...

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