Breakthrough study drug could reverse asthma conditions
A breakthrough study led by Cardiff University in the UK has uncovered a potential root cause of asthma and a drug that reversed symptoms in lab tests.
The study revealed for the first time that the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) plays a key role in causing the disease.
Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers described how they used human airway tissue from asthmatic and non-asthmatic people and lab mice with asthma to reach their findings.
They also noted how manipulating CaSR with an existing class of drugs reversed all symptoms of asthma.
One of the crucial study results is that the symptoms the drug reversed include airway narrowing, airway twitchiness and inflammation - all of which make breathing more difficult, reported Medical News Today.
Daniela Riccardi, principal investigator and a professor in Cardiff's School of Biosciences, describes their findings as “incredibly exciting,” because for the first time they have linked airway inflammation—which can be triggered for example by cigarette smoke and car fumes—with airway twitchiness.
She added, “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.”
While the finding is likely to be welcomed by all asthma sufferers, it will particularly excite the 1 in 12 patients who do not respond to current treatments and who account for around 90 percent of health care costs associated with the disease.
Once funding is secured, the team hopes to be testing the drugs on humans within the next two years.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”