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Yeast Study Could Help Researchers Develop New Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis

Posted on September 3, 2015 by Disability Help Group

Yeast, the common organism used in the fermentation process and an integral part of most beers and breads, could hold clues to better understanding cystic fibrosis. A recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society is using the similarities between yeast cells and human cells to replace restore ion channel function in people with cystic fibrosis.

Researchers know that cystic fibrosis is caused by a mutation that affects functioning of proteins that make up ion channels. This leads to a thick buildup of mucous in the lungs, causing respiratory distress and difficulty breathing. Current treatments can only minimize the symptoms; there currently is no cure for the disease.

The researchers used a small molecule extracted from bacteria to replace a missing protein in yeast cells that had faulty ion channels. They found “vigorous and sustainable restoration of yeast cell growth by replacing missing protein ion transporters with imperfect small molecule mimics.” The yeast grew almost as well as normal yeast.

This therapy could be applied to human diseases like cystic fibrosis, although the application needs further testing. Nonetheless, the researchers are optimistic that this could pave the way to new treatments for cystic fibrosis and other similar disabling conditions.

Do you or a loved one suffer from cystic fibrosis? You could qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Cystic fibrosis is one of the many disabling conditions listed on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments for both children and adults. To qualify for disability benefits, a child or adult must “meet the definition of disabled” as per the listing.

Looking for help with your Social Security disability claim? The Disability Help Group provides assistance to disabled Americans fighting for their rightful benefits. If your application for benefits was denied and you are looking to appeal the decision, contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332.