Friday, April 15, 2016

Focus on Cystic Fibrosis: 65 Roses Day

Today is 65 Roses Day as part Cystic Fibrosis National Awareness Week (11th - 17th April 2016). We have a look at RCSI's contributions to research on this genetically inherited disease, and how buying a Purple Rose can support CF patients, their families and future research in the area. 

Bryan Dobson & Keelin Shanley launching 2016's 65 Roses Day for Friday 15th April.

What is Cystic Fibrosis? 
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life threatening inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that: 

  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; 
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. 

Health probles associated with Cystic Fibrosis.
Ireland has highest global rates of CF
Ireland has both the highest incidence of CF in the world at 2.98 per 10,000 and the highest carrier rate in the world with 1 in 19 individuals classed as carriers. The incidence of cystic fibrosis in this country is almost two and a half times the average rate in other EU countries and the USA (1). At present, there are approximately 1,200 people with Cystic Fibrosis living in Ireland (2).

Many people with the disease in Ireland can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. People with CF in Ireland are increasingly going on to attend third level colleges, accessing employment, and living more independent lives, with the support of family and friends. 

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland is a voluntary organisation established by families of CF patients in 1963 to improve the treatment and facilities for people with Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland.

RCSI Research in Cystic Fibrosis
Research into respiratory diseases like CF is a particular strength of the College with notable breakthroughs such as the role of estrogen and the CF gender gap 
showing that the female hormone oestrogen promotes the presence of a particular form of bacteria which results in more severe symptoms for female cystic fibrosis patients.

Other major research interests in the area of respiratory diseases include pulmonary innate immunity, airway fluid dynamics in Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, protease/anti protease interactions in the lung, signal transduction and gene regulation in bronchial epithelium, the role of the neutrophil in inflammatory lung disease, microRNA profiling in CF, pro-resolution and ion transport effects of lipoxins in CF, endoplasmic reticulum stress responses and anti-inflammatory and gene therapeutics.

From the RCSI Library catalogue!
Studying Cystic Fibrosis at the RCSI Library
Our Library collections hold a wide range of materials for learning about CF, check out our saved search here for a taste. 

You can also check out all of our institutional publications related to Cystic Fibrosis from RCSI's institutional repository e-publications@RCSI.   

This is a wonderful resource managed and maintained by the RCSI Library which is an open access resource with all research and scholarly outputs from the College. Check out our saved search here to see publications to CF.

Why 65 Roses?
'65 Roses' is how some children first learn how to say 'Cystic Fibrosis'. The symbol in Ireland for '65 Roses Week' is a purple rose.

Find out more about CF

(1) Farrell PM. The prevalence of cystic fibrosis in the European Union. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis 2008 Sep;7(5):450-3.
(2) The Cystic Fibrosis Registry of Ireland

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