Immunology

Can asthma be controlled with a vitamin supplement?

The shortness of breath experienced by the nearly 26 million Americans who suffer from asthma is usually the result of inflammation of the airways. People with asthma typically use albuterol for acute attacks and inhaled ...

Health

Vitamin D protects against severe asthma attacks

Taking oral vitamin D supplements in addition to standard asthma medication could halve the risk of asthma attacks requiring hospital attendance, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Immunology

Researchers make asthma breakthrough

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough that may eventually lead to improved therapeutic options for people living with asthma. The researchers have uncovered a critical role for a protein (Caspase-11), ...

Immunology

Gene therapy could 'turn off' severe allergies

A single treatment giving life-long protection from severe allergies such as asthma could be made possible by immunology research at The University of Queensland.

Medical research

Newborn gut microbiome predicts later allergy and asthma

The microbes living in a baby's gut during its first month of life may directly impact the developing immune system, leading to a higher risk of allergies and asthma later in childhood, according to a study by researchers ...

Inflammatory disorders

Study reveals nervous system's role in asthma attacks

(Medical Xpress)—Asthma is a debilitating condition that kills 250,000 people around the world each year. People with asthma have hyperreactive airways and thickened lung walls obstructed with mucus. During an asthma attack, ...

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Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs in which the airways (bronchi) are reversibly narrowed. Asthma affects 7% of the population, and 300 million worldwide. During attacks (exacerbations), the smooth muscle cells in the bronchi constrict, and the airways become inflamed and swollen. Breathing becomes difficult, and asthma causes 4,000 deaths a year in the U.S. Attacks can be prevented by avoiding triggering factors and by drug treatment. Drugs are used for acute attacks, commonly inhaled β2-agonists. In more serious cases, drugs are used for long-term prevention, starting with inhaled corticosteroids, and then long-acting β2-agonists if necessary. Leukotriene antagonists are less effective than corticosteroids but have no side effects. Monoclonal antibodies such as mepolizumab and omalizumab are sometimes effective. Prognosis is good with treatment.

In contrast to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis, the inflammation of asthma is reversible. In contrast to emphysema, asthma affects the bronchi, not the alveoli.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute defines asthma as a common chronic disorder of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, airflow obstruction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness (bronchospasm), and an underlying inflammation.

Public attention in the developed world has recently focused on asthma because of its rapidly increasing prevalence, affecting up to one in four urban children.

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