Cystic Fibrosis (cont.)
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Cystic fibrosis occurs when a child inherits a changed (mutated) cystic fibrosis transmembrane gene from both parents. The gene codes for a protein called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR). The changed gene causes problems with the way salt and water move in and out of the cells that make mucus, causing the mucus to be thick and sticky. This kind of mucus makes it hard for the body to keep organs and lungs clean and healthy.
If a child inherits the changed CFTR gene from only one parent, the child will not have cystic fibrosis but may be a carrier. This means the child could pass the changed gene on to his or her children.
Many people do not know they have the changed gene. If you are the parent of a child who has cystic fibrosis, it is important to remember that nothing you did caused the disease.
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