ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
* HEALTH
 AIDS
 Aging
 Alternative
 Cancer
 Children
 Diet & Fitness
 Men
 Women
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

  health > story pageAIDSAgingAlternative MedicineCancerChildrenDiet & FitnessMenWomen

Potential new approach to cystic fibrosis treatment reported

graphics

October 9, 1999
Web posted at: 10:46 p.m. EDT (0246 GMT)


In this story:

Signs of disease reversed

Large doses of supplements not advised

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



SEATTLE (CNN) -- Researchers have discovered that high doses of a specific fatty acid can reduce symptoms of cystic fibrosis in mice -- a finding that potentially could lead to a treatment for a disease that is now incurable in humans.

People with cystic fibrosis exhibit high levels of arachidonic acid (AA) and low levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Researchers who bred mice with the genetic defect that causes cystic fibrosis found that the mice exhibited the same imbalance of fatty acids.

Signs of disease reversed

But in mice that were fed large doses of DHA for a week, the imbalance was corrected and signs of cystic fibrosis in the pancreas, intestines and lungs were reversed, researchers said.

The findings were presented Saturday at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's annual scientific conference in Seattle.

While the findings are preliminary and involved only animals, researchers said the findings might also apply to people with cystic fibrosis because the fatty acid imbalance is similar. Experts in the disease attending the conference say they are encouraged by the findings.

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal hereditary genetic disease in which a thick, sticky mucus clogs airways in the lungs, triggering lung infections. The average patient dies at 32, and, while doctors can treat symptoms with antibiotics and agents to loosen mucus, there is no cure.

Large doses of supplements not advised

DHA is a fatty acid found in fish oils and breast milk, and it is also available without a prescription as a dietary supplement. However, researchers cautioned that taking DHA supplements in large amounts can be harmful and that the DHA derivative would have to be reformulated to be useful as a treatment in people.



RELATED STORIES:
Gene therapy - A revolution in healing
August 26, 1999
Gene therapy no quick fix
September 13, 1996

RELATED SITES:
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Index of On-Line Resources
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

LATEST HEALTH STORIES:
China SARS numbers pass 5,000
Report: Form of HIV in humans by 1940
Fewer infections for back-sleeping babies
Pneumonia vaccine may help heart, too
 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.