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Terriers Join Fight Against a Killer Disease in Humans
Date:12/27/2007

t clues. And their shorter lifespan -- a seventh of that of humans -- means scientists can watch the disease in "fast-forward," which might also speed research.

Westies are also free of certain confounding factors, such as smoking, that often muddle human research. "The dogs might turn out to have a very pure form of the disease that allows you to investigate the disease itself and not worry about other factors," Corcoran noted.

Given all of this, "why wouldn't you look at a Westie and research how the disease progresses?" said patient-advocate Shreve.

"We think it's a very creative approach to trying to help out humans," he said, "and our patients don't really have the patience to hang around waiting for a miracle.

More information

To learn much more about IPF, visit the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.



SOURCES: Brendan Corcoran, Ph.D., professor and director, Hospital for Small Animals, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Jesse Roman, M.D., professor, medicine, and director, pulmonary allergy and CCM, Emory University, Atlanta; Mark Shreve, chief operating officer, Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, San Jose, Calif.


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