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Butterfly Disease

Enviado por   •  17 de Septiembre de 2023  •  Resúmenes  •  505 Palabras (3 Páginas)  •  21 Visitas

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Children with 'butterfly skin' disease cured of wounds that had not been healed for years.

Children with such sensitive skin, that a simple touch can create wounds that may never heal, have Butterfly Children's Disease, officially called Epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

This genetic disease affects approximately 1 in 20,000 births, making it a rare disease. Patients with EB have a mutation in a gene that encodes a protein essential for skin integrity. As a result, their skin is extremely fragile and breaks down easily, leading to the formation of painful blisters and ulcers all over the body. Hence the name of the disease, the children's skin becomes as delicate as a butterfly's wings. The disease currently has no cure and existing treatments can only alleviate the symptoms.

A study by researchers at Stanford University offers new hope for patients with the disease. The researchers developed a gene therapy that uses a modified virus to deliver a functional copy of the affected gene to patients' skin cells. The therapy was administered to four butterfly children, in localised areas of their skin, and the results were striking: the patients showed significant improvement in skin integrity and wound healing in the treated areas.

Most excitingly, the therapy was safe and well tolerated by the patients, with no serious side effects. Moreover, the researchers observed that the treated skin cells continued to produce the functional protein even 3 months after administration of the therapy. In fact, the wounds heal quickly, but more importantly, they remain closed. The results showed that it strengthens the skin and breaks the painful and destructive cycle of opening and closing wounds experienced by these children.

One of the most impressive cases was a patient who had had an open wound covering most of his side for 10 years. After treatment with the new gene therapy, 70% of the wound healed and all other wounds closed completely.

The importance of this study is that it could offer a real cure for Butterfly Children's Disease. It is a breakthrough in the field of gene therapy and offers new hope for patients with this rare and serious disease.

Rare disease research has implications for everyone, including advances in the treatment of common diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease. In addition, this research raises important ethical and social questions about equity in access to treatment and the impact on genetic diversity. Supporting research on rare diseases contributes to these important debates.

To sum up, this gene therapy study for EB is a breakthrough in the field of rare disease research. It offers new hope for these patients and has important implications for the treatment of more common diseases and for the ethical and societal debates on gene therapy technology.

However, it is important to note that this study is only a first step, and that further research and clinical trials are still needed to validate the long-term safety and efficacy of the therapy. Nevertheless, this breakthrough shows the great potential of gene therapy to treat a wide range of genetic diseases in the future.


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