Treatment News

Climb campaigns to raise awareness

2.8 from 4 votes
Sunday, June 01, 2008

The charity, which helps families and others dealing with metabolic diseases, has been working to raise the profile of the conditions, which often appear in childhood and cause more disability and deaths in that age group than cancer.

Although individually rare, genetically inherited metabolic diseases account for more than a thousand life-limiting and chronic diseases.

Awareness of metabolic diseases as a possible cause is vital to increase the chance of early diagnosis and potential treatment.

For each individual metabolic disease there exists a different enzyme or group of enzymes.

A spokesman for the charity explained: "We are all familiar with enzymes present in biological soap powders which eat` the dirt in our laundry.

"Similarly, some enzymes in our bodies eat` or breakdown chemicals that would otherwise become toxic while others build them up to develop or repair cells.

"The role of each enzyme is programmed by the genes we inherit, so if the gene is faulty, we inherit a faulty enzyme - and a metabolic disease.

"Medical research has led to a number of effective treatments in recent years, including enzyme replacement and development of specifically targeted orphan` drugs.

"However both approaches are expensive and require special measures to secure funding."

New hope is presented with the development of gene and stem cell therapies, but clinical application of these approaches remains several years away.

There is still no cure for any metabolic disease.

Climb is the only organisation dedicated to providing appropriate information and support to families, patients, children, carers and professionals faced with the diseases.

During the awareness week the charity`s supporters have been holding events across the UK to raise the profile of the issue.

These have included fund-raising stalls, duck racing, worm charming and a horse race entitled the Handicap Stakes at Haydock Park on Saturday.

Copyright Newsquest Media Group

Author: By Mark Hilditch
Source: Newsquest Media Group
2.8 from 4 votes
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