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Asthma is a common inflammatory disease affecting the airways that leads to shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Symptoms range from mild to severe but are generally manageable with appropriate treatment.

When asthmatics come into contact with something that irritates their lungs, three main changes occur that prevent air from moving easily through the airways. The bands of muscle surrounding the airways tighten and narrow the airway (bronchospasm), the lining of the airways inflame, and the cells that line the airways produce more mucus. This bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production lead to wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing.

An asthma “attack” refers to when the onset of symptoms is severe. In rare cases, an asthma attack can be life threatening and hospitalization may be required to provide emergency treatment.
The exact cause of asthma is not yet clear, but examples of factors that are known to trigger the condition include allergens such as house dust mites or pollen, cigarette smoke, exercise, chest infections, and exposure to cold air.

Asthma cannot be cured but it can be controlled. One of the most important parts of asthma control is identifying asthma triggers so they can be avoided wherever possible. Medications that may be used include anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and mucus production and bronchodilators to relax the muscles that tighten and narrow the airways.
Swecure receives US patent approval for preventive allergy treatment

Swecure receives US patent approval for preventive allergy treatment

Swecure, a research and development stage biotechnology company primarily focused on developing novel treatments for immunoregulatory diseases such as allergy, IBD and IBS, receives patent approval grant by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The invention relates to a use of bacterial superantigens for the prevention of allergy in children as well as a method for the prevention of inflammatory disorders. [More]
Egalet to present scientific data on SPRIX Nasal Spray at Painweek 2015

Egalet to present scientific data on SPRIX Nasal Spray at Painweek 2015

Egalet Corporation, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing innovative pain treatments, today announced that researchers will be presenting scientific data on SPRIX (ketorolac tromethamine) Nasal Spray, Egalet-001, an abuse-deterrent, extended-release, oral morphine product candidate, and Egalet-002, an abuse-deterrent, extended-release, oral oxycodone product in development, at PainWeek 2015 to be held September 8 to 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada. [More]
Scientists elucidate chemical process behind eosinophilic esophagitis

Scientists elucidate chemical process behind eosinophilic esophagitis

Scientists from the D'Or Institute of Research and Education, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Yale University School of Medicine have elucidated the chemical process behind a mysterious gastrointestinal disease that is becoming more frequent every day: the eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), also known as the "asthma of the esophagus". [More]
Researchers examine how patients handle stigma of using medical marijuana

Researchers examine how patients handle stigma of using medical marijuana

Research recently published in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Routledge) examines the experiences of California residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana and the stigma they experience from public opinion. The findings indicate that the stigma of using medical marijuana may contribute to the under-treatment of those who might benefit from medical marijuana. [More]
UVM-led research team to study benefits of integrating behavioral health care with medical care

UVM-led research team to study benefits of integrating behavioral health care with medical care

A University of Vermont-led research team has received approval for $18.5 million in funding to study whether patients with both medical and behavioral problems do better when their primary care physicians work in combination with behavioral health professionals including psychologists and social workers. [More]
Findings reveal a new way to prevent meningitis

Findings reveal a new way to prevent meningitis

The fungus Cryptococcus causes meningitis, a brain disease that kills about 1 million people each year — mainly those with impaired immune systems due to AIDS, cancer treatment or an organ transplant. [More]
Children exposed to toxic air pollutants at home more likely to have lower GPAs

Children exposed to toxic air pollutants at home more likely to have lower GPAs

A University of Texas at El Paso study on children's health has found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs. [More]
Soligenix obtains additional funding from NIAID to advance development of OrbeShield for GI ARS treatment

Soligenix obtains additional funding from NIAID to advance development of OrbeShield for GI ARS treatment

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has exercised its option to advance preclinical development of OrbeShield (oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate or oral BDP). [More]
FDA accepts Allergan's resubmission of BOTOX sBLA for treatment of adults with upper limb spasticity

FDA accepts Allergan's resubmission of BOTOX sBLA for treatment of adults with upper limb spasticity

Allergan plc, a leading global pharmaceutical company today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the company's resubmission of its Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for BOTOX (onabotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of adults with lower limb (involving ankle and toe muscles) spasticity in adults. [More]

Discovery provides new insights into how asthma may be caused

Researchers from the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Genentech, have discovered new insights into how asthma may be caused, by identifying three distinct groups of asthma patients characterised by the activity of different genes in an individual's airways. [More]
Save a child with asthma with a disposable paper cup

Save a child with asthma with a disposable paper cup

A disposable cup – favoured by many of the high street’s well known coffee shops – is the inspiration behind a new and scientifically reviewed device for the safe and prompt treatment of school age children suffering acute asthma, which often presents as an emergency situation. [More]
U-M microbiome research may lead to new ways to prevent, fight lung infections in patients

U-M microbiome research may lead to new ways to prevent, fight lung infections in patients

With every breath you take, microbes have a chance of making it into your lungs. But what happens when they get there? And why do dangerous lung infections like pneumonia happen in some people, but not others? Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School have started to answer these questions by studying the microbiome of the lungs - the community of microscopic organisms that are in constant contact with our respiratory system. [More]
Breastfeeding may lead to substantial reduction in common infections among Indigenous babies

Breastfeeding may lead to substantial reduction in common infections among Indigenous babies

Promoting breastfeeding could lead to a substantial reduction in common infections and even deaths that are more common in Indigenous infants than non-Indigenous infants, a new study suggests. [More]
Anti-smoking laws lead to decrease in stillbirths

Anti-smoking laws lead to decrease in stillbirths

Stillbirths have dropped by almost eight per cent in England since the smoking ban was introduced, research shows. [More]
Scientists reveal how non-allergenic pollen mediators can increase allergic reactions

Scientists reveal how non-allergenic pollen mediators can increase allergic reactions

Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and TU München discovered a new mechanism how non-allergenic pollen mediators can enhance allergic reactions. Especially the so-called B cells play a critical role in this process. The results were recently published in the Journal 'Allergy' and might lead to new approaches for therapies. [More]
Doctors suggest tips to ensure children's safety during school sports

Doctors suggest tips to ensure children's safety during school sports

Many children return to sports such as soccer, football, cross-country and volleyball when they return to school. Physicians in the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center say preparation before the first day of practice is critical in helping to reduce the risk of injury. [More]
Experts discuss ways to encourage appropriate use of epinephrine for all severe allergic reactions

Experts discuss ways to encourage appropriate use of epinephrine for all severe allergic reactions

There are times when emergency physicians can't be 100 percent sure a person is suffering from a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, and may hesitate to use epinephrine. A new article says when in doubt - administer the epinephrine. [More]
Pennsylvania physicians examine back-to-school health, offer tips for parents and students

Pennsylvania physicians examine back-to-school health, offer tips for parents and students

As students start heading back to classes for the upcoming academic year, Pennsylvania physicians take a close look at back-to-school health and offer some tips for parents and students who strive to stay in class and not home in bed sick. [More]
Hospital physicians rarely identify or address overweight/obesity in children

Hospital physicians rarely identify or address overweight/obesity in children

Physicians and physician trainees fail to identify or address overweight/obesity in over 90 percent of hospitalized children, according to new research from a Saint Louis University pediatric hospitalist. [More]
New health care program covered by Medicaid improves some aspects of care for disabled adults

New health care program covered by Medicaid improves some aspects of care for disabled adults

UF Health researchers have found that care linked to heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, among disabled adults covered by Medicaid has improved with the expansion of a new health care program in Texas over the last decade. [More]
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