Researchers from Aston University and Imperial College London have found a potential way to tackle one of the underlying causes of asthma.

In tests in mice, the researchers were able to virtually eliminate asthmatic symptoms within two weeks and return their airways to near normal.

Just under 5.5 million people in the UK receive treatment for asthma and around 1,200 people die of the disease each year.

Asthma causes the airways to become thickened and constricted, resulting in symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

Current treatments, including steroids, provide short term relief from these symptoms, by either relaxing the airways or reducing inflammation. However, no current drugs address the structural changes asthma makes to the airway and lungs, in order to offer a longer-lasting treatment.

Lead researcher, Dr Jill Johnson, from Aston University’s School of Biosciences, said: “By targeting the changes in the airway directly, we hope this approach could eventually offer a more permanent and effective treatment than those already available, particularly for severe asthmatics who don’t respond to steroids. However, our work is still at an early stage and further research is needed before we can begin to test this in people.” Read more here.

Urgent Health Care Use Spiked for Adults With Concomitant Eczema, Asthma

Adults with concomitant atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma have an increased risk for urgent health care use, according to a study published online July 7 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology.

Zarqa Ali, from Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg in Denmark, and colleagues examined differences in health care utilization in adults with concomitant AD and asthma versus those with asthma or AD only. Health care utilization data were obtained from two years before to five years after the index date (date of first hospital diagnosis). Read more here.