Medical research

First lung map uncovers new insights into asthma

For the first time, researchers have mapped the building blocks of the human lungs and airways, in both asthma patients and normal people. The research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Center Groningen, ...

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, ...

Medical research

An asthma vaccine effective in mice

Inserm teams led by Laurent Reber (Infinity, Toulouse) and Pierre Bruhns (Humoral Immunity, Institut Pasteur, Paris) and French company NEOVACS have developed a vaccine that could induce long-term protection against allergic ...

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA