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Scientists discover asthma's potential root cause and a novel treatment


Source: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/96649...

Scientists discover asthma's potential root cause and a novel treatment

Cardiff scientists have for the first time identified the potential root cause of asthma and an existing drug that offers a new treatment.Published today in Science Translational Medicine journal, University researchers, working in collaboration with scientists at King's College London and the Mayo Clinic (USA), describe the previously unproven role of the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) in causing asthma, a disease which affects 300 million people worldwide. The team used mouse models of asthma and human airway tissue from asthmatic and non-asthmatic people to reach their findings.Crucially, the paper highlights the effectiveness of a class of drugs known as calcilytics in manipulating CaSR to reverse all symptoms associated with the condition. These symptoms include airway narrowing, airway twitchiness and inflammation - all of which contribute to increased breathing difficulty."Our findings are incredibly exciting," said the principal investigator, Professor Daniela Riccardi, from the School of Biosciences. "For the first time we have found a link 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."

Stashed in: Asthma

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It's premature to celebrate. There's still a lot of research remaining to do:

http://pandawhale.com/post/62034/asthma-could-be-cured-by-2020-after-drug-breakthrough

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