Asthma Cardiff University Breakthrough Finding Is A Hopeful Sign For Future Asthma Cure

April 25, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

An asthma find at Cardiff University and King’s College London announces a potential treatment. Researchers at the Cardiff University in Wales and King’s College London in England have published a new study that shows that drugs known as calcilytics originally created to treat osteoporosis can reverse all asthma symptoms. The British study also found the root of the condition that affects over 300 million people worldwide including President Barack Obama’s daughter, Malia.

Asthma Cardiff University

An asthma Cardiff University and King’s College London discovery gives hope that a treatment is in reach within the next five years. The study was published in the journal of Science Translational Medicine. The group of experts claimed to have also discovered the cause of asthma. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma including Malia Obama.

The researchers from Cardiff University in Wales and King’s College London in England conducted their experiments on “mouse models of asthma and human airway tissue from asthmatic and non-asthmatic people” and they discovered that a class of drugs called calcilytics could stop all symptoms such as airway narrowing, airway hyperresponsiveness (twitchiness) and inflammation. Calcilytics was originally designed to treat the bone disease, osteoporosis, about 15 years ago. According to Examiner, it failed to reach that goal.

The study confirmed that the root of asthma is a calcium-sensing receptor also known as (CaSR) in airway tissue that activates when triggered by allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes.

President Obama said earlier this week that his daughter Malia’s asthma was caused by the harmful effects of climate change. Obama correctly explained that higher temperatures led to forest fires, which send allergy-causing particulates into the air, potentially increasing asthma cases.

The Cardiff University’s study co-author and professor Paul Kemp revealed that the identification of CaSR in airway tissue could also help researchers find solutions for other inflammatory lung diseases including COPD and chronic bronchitis.

Dr. Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, who helped fund the King’s College London and Cardiff University asthma study, said a cure could be discovered soon and added:

“This hugely exciting discovery enables us, for the first time, to tackle the underlying causes of asthma symptoms. Five per cent of people with asthma don’t respond to current treatments so research breakthroughs could be life changing for hundreds of thousands of people. 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 it further through clinical trials. Asthma research is chronically underfunded; there have only been a handful of new treatments developed in the last 50 years so the importance of investment in research like this is absolutely essential.”

The principal investigator, Professor Daniela Riccardi, from Cardiff University School of Biosciences, revealed:

“Our findings are incredibly exciting.For the first time we have found a link between airways inflammation, which can be caused by environmental triggers – such as allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes – and airways twitchiness in allergic asthma. 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 group behind the Cardiff University asthma study is hoping to get more funding in order to find ways to treat the most severe cases.

What are your thoughts on this asthma-related discovery?

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