Editor's Note: This is an extended version of the Research Notes that appeared in the print edition of The Scientist.

A CF-Sinusitis Connection

Some sufferers of chronic sinusitis can attribute their debilitating headaches to carrying a mutation in the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene, according to striking results from a study at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (XinJing Wang et al., "Mutation in the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis and predisposition to chronic rhinosinusitis in the general population," Journal of the American Medical Association, 284[14]:1814-9, Oct. 11, 2000). CF is a disruption in the chloride channel protein CFTR, resulting in the buildup of secretions in the lungs, pancreas, and elsewhere. The clue to a link between the inherited illness and the much more common sinusitis came from 15 years of observations on people with mild cases of CF. "Just about every patient...

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