Sunday Links: Asthma Research Edition

A recent medical procedure in the family (not the girls’ and not serious) makes these a day late.

Asthma and Allergy Drugs to Treat Causes, not Symptoms, on the Horizon
And by horizon, I mean a few years from now. This new London research indicates that targeting a specific protein involved in the allergic response will prevent those allergic symptoms from occurring, potentially offering a new and truly preventative type of asthma and allergy drug. Human trials haven’t started yet, but researchers hope for an eventual tablet, inhaler, and topical cream using this approach.

And For the Curious, Some Off-the-Beaten Path Asthma Research
This San Francisco Chronicle article doesn’t explain just one study. Instead, it’s an engrossing look into some of the more unusual areas of California-based asthma research, including theories like these:

– A certain type of cold may permanently alter newborns’ and young infants’ immune systems, causing some asthma cases.
– Daily probiotics for high-risk babies may prevent some asthma.

Don’t miss the links at the bottom, either, because they’ll direct you to the asthma centers conducting these studies.

I like this article enormously because I think–I hope–the more scientists reach for the long-shot theories, the closer we get to better asthma treatments and an ultimate cure.

Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.
-Marston Bates (American zoologist, 1906 – 1974)

9 responses to “Sunday Links: Asthma Research Edition”

  1. AndieBeck says:

    Wow! Thanks for that first link especially – it gives me hope :)

    Andie

  2. Asthmagirl says:

    Hmmm… under the first link, I wonder if the drug will ever focus on broader triggers as opposed to allergies. It’s hard to tell from the way the article was written, but it sounded like the new drugs were focused on allergic response, expecially when they used the example of Xolair.
    Still, it’s something to look forward to and could increase the quality of life for many asthmatics.

  3. Amy says:

    You’re welcome, of course. ;)

    Big AG, I got the same impression but then these 2 passages make me think they’re addressing the inflammation and the hyper-reaction that are the root of the allergic and the asthmatic response, no matter what the triggers are:

    “Treating the body’s underlying immune response is possible but such therapies can leave a person vulnerable to infection and they tend to be reserved for the most extreme cases.”

    And

    “If all goes well, the result could be a therapy that is available for widespread use against allergies and, potentially, other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.”

    The research seems to focus on that hyperactive switch that gets turned on before triggers ever even enter the picture, especially since they also address implications for arthritis treatment.

    Anyway, that’s my impression. Maybe some of the medical types out there could clear this up for us. :)

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