Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease where the patient has frequent respiratory infections, breathing difficulties and eventually permanent lung damage. It's believed that patients with CF have too much mucus in their airways. But new research shows patients actually have too little mucus.
Researchers say that may studies have been done in the past , but it has never proven, that CF causes the body to produce too much abnormally thick mucus that accumulates in the lungs and intestines . However recent studies have shown that these patients actually have very little mucus in their airways.
AdvertisementFor the study, researchers collected sputum from 12 patients with CF and 11 patients without lung disease. Sputum is the mucus that is coughed up when someone has a deep cough. After analyzing the sputum, researchers found the CF patients had less than the healthy participants. Researchers say the substance that clogs the lungs of CF patients is actually pus. They suspect the airways in CF patients are chronically infected and fill up with pus. They think that by adding mucus, it could reduce the infection and the amount of pus.
Specialists say that if further studies prove that mucus is protective against the bacteria, they might have a new treatment option for CF which would make a wonderful difference in quality of life of the patient.