Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Finds Link Between Regular Use of Inhaler and Likelihood of Acute Asthma Attack

01.12.2005


A startling new study published in the science journal Nature this week (Nature Vol 438, issue 7068, pp 667-670) reveals that inhalers used by asthmatics for symptomatic relief of their condition might actually increase the likelihood of an acute attack.



The study by an international team of researchers, including Professor Mike Silverman of the University of Leicester, uses mathematical modelling techniques to try and ’predict’ when an asthma attack might occur in an individual.

Professor Silverman, Professor of Child Health in the Department of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation at the University of Leicester, said:


"Asthma is a very common and often disabling condition. About 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults suffer from the disease. Although it is a chronic illness, variability in both the severity and interval between attacks, is one of its most characteristic features. Attacks appear to be "random", as a result of a whole range of external agents, such as common colds, fluctuations in the weather, and exposure to allergic triggers.

"Our new study applies mathematical models which are commonly used in engineering, but not in medicine to study the occurrence of asthma attacks. The mathematical models are based on processes which are commonly known as "chaos". Strangely, chaos as applied to complex systems, such as the human body, engineering systems, and of course the weather, is not random but dependent on the interaction of many individual components. It is just unpredictable.

"We have analysed lung function measurements, taken daily for six months in a large group of asthma sufferers, during a clinical trial which had been carried out in New Zealand. The apparently random nature of these lung function measurements conceals a hidden order, referred to as "long-term correlation".

"We showed that the degree of ordering improves as the clinical condition improves. It is possible to analyse the data for individual subjects, and to predict the likelihood of an acute attack occurring over the next month. Alarmingly, the results show that an inhaler which is commonly used by asthmatics for relief, if used regularly, can increase the instability of lung function, and increase the likelihood of an acute attack ."

Professor Silverman said that the implications of this analysis are considerable:

"It may be possible to determine the risk of a severe attack of asthma in individual subjects, and to use the information to modify their treatment. It may also be possible to carry out clinical trials of new anti-asthma treatments in a much more efficient way than has been done in the past. "

He said previously, in order to determine the impact of a new asthma treatment on severe attacks, long periods of observation were necessary, in order to accumulate sufficient attacks of asthma to be certain that the new drug was better than previous forms of therapy.

"Using the mathematical modelling techniques described in the Nature paper, it will be possible to obtain information about the instability of asthma from a short period of observation, without waiting for an acute attack to develop. This will save both time and money, and allow new drugs to be introduced into clinical practice sooner than hitherto."

Alex Jelley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>