Under a new grant program sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), researchers will study pre-symptomatic lung disease in infants and young children with cystic fibrosis (CF). The results of this study could provide information about how CF develops, leading to alternative methods that may delay or prevent the disease’s progression.

“We still do not understand well the nature of cystic fibrosis during the first year of life, and this new program will stimulate the research needed to help us do so,” said James Kiley, PhD, director of the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases.

Emerging evidence claims that CF-associated lung disease begins in infancy, however first signs and symptoms may not appear for some time after. With tests that allow physicians to screen all newborns, CF can be identified a few weeks after birth, before the first symptoms appear. Researchers will now not only be able to conduct more research and studies, but also monitor how the disease progresses over time and test potential interventions before damage becomes irreversible.

Source: National Institutes of Health