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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.
Study demonstrates the important role of placebo effect in medical care

Study demonstrates the important role of placebo effect in medical care

The "placebo effect" is often described as events that occur when patients show improvement from treatments that contain no active ingredients. [More]
STIOLTO RESPIMAT Inhalation Spray now available for treatment of COPD across the U.S.

STIOLTO RESPIMAT Inhalation Spray now available for treatment of COPD across the U.S.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that STIOLTO RESPIMAT (tiotropium bromide and olodaterol) Inhalation Spray is now available by prescription at pharmacies across the United States. [More]
Study could point the way to new treatments for people with severe asthma

Study could point the way to new treatments for people with severe asthma

The immune response that occurs in patients with severe asthma is markedly different than what occurs in milder forms of the lung condition, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Those unique features could point the way to new treatments, they said in an article published online today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. [More]
UC Davis pediatricians describe challenges faced by children with asthma in California

UC Davis pediatricians describe challenges faced by children with asthma in California

Low flu vaccination rates, medication compliance and limited access to primary care providers have contributed to the high pediatric asthma rates in California, say UC Davis pediatricians Ulfat Shaikh and Robert Byrd, who have published an extensive study describing the challenges faced by children with asthma in California. [More]
New research reveals that polluted Toronto neighbourhoods have high rates of childhood asthma

New research reveals that polluted Toronto neighbourhoods have high rates of childhood asthma

Children who develop asthma in Toronto are more likely to have been born in a neighbourhood that has a high level of traffic-related air pollution, new research suggests. [More]
Xencor announces progress and expansion of proprietary pipeline of XmAb antibodies

Xencor announces progress and expansion of proprietary pipeline of XmAb antibodies

Xencor, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases, and cancer, today announced updates on its lead product candidates, XmAb®5871 and XmAb®7195, and on its XmAb® bispecific oncology pipeline. [More]
Emergency room visits, hospitalizations of children with food allergy reactions increase in Illinois

Emergency room visits, hospitalizations of children with food allergy reactions increase in Illinois

Emergency room visits and hospitalizations of children with severe, potentially life-threatening food allergy reactions increased nearly 30 percent in Illinois over five years, reports a Northwestern Medicine study. [More]
Bayer Yakuhin receives MHLW approval in Japan for EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection to treat RVO patients

Bayer Yakuhin receives MHLW approval in Japan for EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection to treat RVO patients

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that Bayer HealthCare's Japanese subsidiary, Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd., received approval for EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan for the treatment of patients with macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO). [More]
Immune Pharmaceuticals begins bertilimumab Phase II clinical trials in Bullous Pemphigoid, Ulcerative Colitis

Immune Pharmaceuticals begins bertilimumab Phase II clinical trials in Bullous Pemphigoid, Ulcerative Colitis

Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that it has initiated its Phase II Ulcerative Colitis clinical trial and is scheduled to initiate its Phase II Bullous Pemphigoid clinical trial on July 1, 2015. Study Initiation is the training of hospital staff to allow for patient screening and immediate patient enrollment into the clinical trial upon selection. [More]
Cytokine levels may help distinguish patients with suicidality

Cytokine levels may help distinguish patients with suicidality

One American dies from suicide every 12.8 minutes, making suicide the tenth leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. [More]
Pediatric study looks at evidence-based predictors of biphasic allergic reactions

Pediatric study looks at evidence-based predictors of biphasic allergic reactions

Children are more likely to have a repeat, delayed anaphylactic reaction from the same allergic cause, depending on the severity of the initial reaction. The first pediatric study to look at the predictors for this phenomenon was published today in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. [More]
Ragweed pollen can trigger strong allergic reactions

Ragweed pollen can trigger strong allergic reactions

Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) - an otherwise unremarkable plant - produces pollen that can trigger strong allergic reactions such as asthma even in very small quantities. Scientists from Technische Universität München (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München have now published a joint study showing that the substance previously identified as the major allergen only induces such a vigorous allergic response in combination with the adenosine also present in the pollen. [More]

Unsafe prescribing increases risk of life threatening asthma attacks

Last year’s National Review of Asthma Deaths highlighted prescribing errors in nearly half of asthma deaths in primary care (47%). Now new analysis from Asthma UK, based on data from over 500 UK GP practices, reveals evidence that over 22,000 people with asthma in the UK, including 2,000 children, have been prescribed medicines (long-acting reliever inhalers) in a way that is so unsafe they have a ‘black box warning’ in the USA due to the risk they pose to the lives of people with asthma. [More]
Simple test could help identify genetically inherited risk for prostate cancer

Simple test could help identify genetically inherited risk for prostate cancer

Men with an elevated, genetically inherited risk for prostate cancer could be routinely identified with a simple blood or urine test, scientists at UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente Northern California have concluded, potentially paving the way to better or earlier diagnosis. [More]
CGRP monoclonal antibodies show promise in treating migraine

CGRP monoclonal antibodies show promise in treating migraine

Migraine researchers and clinicians are growing excited about a new class of drugs called Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies, which are showing promise in treating high-frequency episodic migraine and chronic migraine. [More]
Atopix raises additional development capital to investigate OC459 for treatment of asthma

Atopix raises additional development capital to investigate OC459 for treatment of asthma

Atopix Therapeutics Limited, a UK biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines to treat atopic dermatitis and severe asthma, today announced that it has raised additional development capital to advance its lead product OC459 for the treatment of asthma. [More]
Researchers examine proteins on surface of naive CD4+ T cells

Researchers examine proteins on surface of naive CD4+ T cells

The team headed by Dr. Kathrin Suttner, who, together with Prof. Dr. Carsten Schmidt-Weber, heads the airway immunology research group at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Technische Universität München, concentrated its work on the so-called naive CD4+ T cells. [More]
Older asthmatic patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids at increased risk for treatment failure

Older asthmatic patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids at increased risk for treatment failure

Older patients with asthma are at increased risk for treatment failure, particularly those patients being treated with inhaled corticosteroids, according to a new study. [More]
Study seeks to determine environmental factors that protect against asthma, allergies

Study seeks to determine environmental factors that protect against asthma, allergies

Researchers in the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute have entered into a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products and Janssen Biotech Inc. to leverage foundational discovery research aimed at determining environmental factors that underlie asthma and allergies. [More]
Study shows that ankylosing spondylitis can be predicted by low birth weight

Study shows that ankylosing spondylitis can be predicted by low birth weight

The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) Press Conference showed that a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can be predicted by low birth weight, having older siblings and hospitalisation for infection between the ages of 5-16 years. [More]
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