Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers make a significant advance in treating asthma


The findings of this research published on 30th November 2002 in The Lancet suggest that targeting the underlying cause of asthma—rather than treating symptoms of the disorder—could be more effective in reducing severe asthma attacks.

Asthma affects 5.1 million people in the UK and leads to an estimated 1,500 deaths per year, however current treatment methods, based on an assessment of symptoms and a measurement of lung function may not be the most effective.

Asthma is known to be associated with increased numbers of microscopic cells called eosinophils, in the airway. These can be detected by a simple sputum test and their numbers rise several weeks before an asthma attack. A groundbreaking study undertaken by Institute for Lung Health researchers Dr Ian Pavord and Dr Ruth Green assessed whether treatment which aimed to reduce the number of eosinophils reduced severe asthma attacks compared with conventional treatment.

A study of 74 patients with moderate to severe asthma were randomly placed into two groups. One was treated conventionally, the other using the sputum test with their medication regulated in response to changes in eosinophil numbers.

The results showed that the sputum test group had fewer severe attacks and hospitalisations than the conventional treatment group.

Dr Pavord comments ‘severe asthma attacks that require treatment with steroids or hospital admission are the most serious manifestation of the disease. They lead to asthma deaths, illness and a high cost to the health service in terms of doctor consultations, drug use and hospital beds. This approach of maintaining a normal eosinophil count resulted in a large reduction in the number of severe attacks compared with conventional management methods.’

This study which will be presented by Dr Ruth Green next week at the British Thoracic Society meeting in London as part of the National Young Investigators Award, has major implications in that it allows treatment to be targeted more precisely at those who require it most, thereby reducing demand on resources.

This study also has implications for the future of asthma research as it provides further evidence that the mechanisms that cause mild asthma symptoms are different to those that underlie a severe attack.

This is the latest in a series of important discoveries made by members of Leicester’s Institute for Lung Health. Discoveries that put the Institute at the forefront of research into adult and childhood lung disease.

Xan Whitfield-Grace | alfa

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>