Asthma symptoms could be aggravated by imbalance problems

September 2, 2012

Asthma patients could be at a higher risk of worsening symptoms due to problems with their balance, according to new research.

The study will be presented today (2 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna.

Researchers aimed to assess the link between asthma, anxiety and balance. Anxiety and imbalance are closely related. Muscles and joints are controlled by signals from the brain, which are, in turn, sent from stimuli from the eyes and inner ear. This function is also controlled by the in the brain, which is additionally responsible for emotions, such as anxiety.

It is well known that anxiety can exacerbate , yet there has been little research into whether balance abnormalities also have a on asthmatics.

The researchers measured levels of anxiety in 30 people with persistent controlled asthma and a control group without asthma. They used an established questionnaire, the Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults to measure a person's levels of anxiety. They also assessed using dynamic posturography, which tests a person's control of their posture in different positions.

The results confirmed previous findings showing that asthmatics regularly suffer with anxiety problems. 88% of people in the asthma group had a moderate or intense , compared with 46% in the control group.

The findings also revealed that the asthmatic group frequently performed worse in the balance test, compared with the control group.

The researchers suggest that balance abnormalities should be investigated in patients with asthma, particularly those with already high , to prevent the deterioration of their symptoms.

Lead author of the research, Dr Angelo Geraldo Jose Cunha, from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, said: "Our research has shed light on an area of asthma that has received little attention. The links we've seen between brain, lung and labyrinth suggest that asthma symptoms could be much worse in people with balance problems caused by anxiety or in people suffering from balance issues independent of anxiety problems.

"This study had confirmed that asthma has many clinical expressions that go beyond symptoms solely affecting the lung. In addition to healthcare professionals paying attention to balance disorders in asthmatics, this field of research requires further investigation to fully understand the link between balance, anxiety and asthma."

Explore further: New tool to assess asthma-related anxiety

Related Stories

New tool to assess asthma-related anxiety

May 5, 2011
When children or adolescents with asthma and their parents become overly anxious about the disorder, it may impair their ability to manage the asthma effectively. A new, effective tool to assess asthma-related anxiety is ...

Missed sleep may contribute to asthma morbidity

July 17, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Missed sleep may contribute to asthma morbidity in urban children, according to a study published in the July issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Depressive symptoms may make asthma control more difficult

October 26, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- People with asthma are more likely to have symptoms of depression. A new study suggests these symptoms are linked to a host of other negative health risks that may lead to a worsening of asthma symptoms ...

Recommended for you

Immune system can be modulated by targeted manipulation of cell metabolism

August 21, 2017
In its attempt to fight a serious bacterial infection, caused by listeria, for example, the immune system can become so over-activated that the resulting inflammatory response and its consequences can quickly lead to death. ...

Australian researchers in peanut allergy breakthrough

August 17, 2017
Australian researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the relief of deadly peanut allergy with the discovery of a long-lasting treatment they say offers hope that a cure will soon be possible.

Genetic variants found to play key role in human immune system

August 16, 2017
It is widely recognized that people respond differently to infections. This can partially be explained by genetics, shows a new study published today in Nature Communications by an international collaboration of researchers ...

Study identifies a new way to prevent a deadly fungal infection spreading to the brain

August 16, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered a way to stop a deadly fungus from 'hijacking' the body's immune system and spreading to the brain.

Biophysics explains how immune cells kill bacteria

August 16, 2017
(Tokyo, August 16) A new data analysis technique, moving subtrajectory analysis, designed by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, defines the dynamics and kinetics of key molecules in the immune response to an infection. ...

How a nutrient, glutamine, can control gene programs in cells

August 15, 2017
The 200 different types of cells in the body all start with the same DNA genome. To differentiate into families of bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells, neurons and the rest, differing gene programs have to be turned on ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gwrede
not rated yet Sep 02, 2012
As a childhood asthmatic myself, I could write so much about this subject. But I won't, because no asthma professionals are reading these comments. Unfortunately.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.