The new research at Cardiff University in the UK found a potential root cause of asthma has been identified, along with a novel treatment using an existing drug.
Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK said ‘ If this research proves successful, we may be just a few years away from a new treatment for asthma, and we urgently need further investment to take this development further through clinical trials’.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. This disease causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning. It happens because of the respiratory air-passage.
The team discovered that a class of drugs called calcilytics effectively reversed all symptoms. It used mouse models of asthma and human airways tissue from both asthmatics and non-asthmatics. At the root of asthma is a calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) in airway tissue that activates when triggered by allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes.
These environmental triggers can release chemicals that activate CaSR. Prof Danile Riccardi of Cardigg University School of Biosciences in the UK said ‘ Our paper shows how these triggers release chemicals that activate CaSR in airway tissue and drive asthma symptoms like airway twitchiness, inflammation, and narrowing. Using calcilytics, nebulized directly into the lungs, we show that it is possible to deactivate CaSR and prevent all of these symptoms’.
The identification of CaSR in airway tissue could give way to solutions for treating other inflammatory lung diseases, including COPD and chronic bronchitis. Accordint to Cardiff University professor , Paul Kemp.
– AFP RelaxNews