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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.
Bronchial thermoplasty for severe asthma: an interview with Dr. Rob Niven

Bronchial thermoplasty for severe asthma: an interview with Dr. Rob Niven

Internationally, severe asthma is defined as anybody who is on maximum therapy, which has no measurable side effects, but still have symptoms of persistent asthma. In the UK, that effectively means people who require oral steroids for their asthma two or more times a year. [More]
Kaleo, CHMI partner to reduce prescription drug-related deaths

Kaleo, CHMI partner to reduce prescription drug-related deaths

Kaleo, a privately-held pharmaceutical company, today announced a national strategic partnership with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, that will help support its goal of cutting prescription drug-related deaths in half, saving approximately 10,000 lives over five years. [More]
TOSH Program aims to improve oral-systemic health

TOSH Program aims to improve oral-systemic health

Improving oral health is a leading population health goal; however, curricula preparing health professionals have a dearth of oral health content and clinical experiences. Funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration, New York University College of Nursing's Teaching Oral-Systemic Health Program is working to build interprofessional oral health workforce capacity which addresses a significant public health issue, increases oral health care access, and improves oral-systemic health across the lifespan. [More]
AHS provides updated assessment of treatments for acute migraine

AHS provides updated assessment of treatments for acute migraine

The January issue of the American Headache Society journal Headache provides an updated assessment of the best treatments to use when a migraine attack occurs. The assessment will form the basis of new AHS treatment guidelines. [More]
Experts hail new Smartinhaler device that encourages child asthmatics to take medications

Experts hail new Smartinhaler device that encourages child asthmatics to take medications

A NEW technology that encourages child asthmatics to take medications has been hailed by experts as a breakthrough device, after a landmark study, showed children were 180% more likely to comply with drug regimes. [More]
UChicago researchers awarded NIH grants to develop novel medications for sleep apnea, asthma

UChicago researchers awarded NIH grants to develop novel medications for sleep apnea, asthma

Two research teams based at the University of Chicago have received prestigious grants from the National Institutes of Health to develop novel medications to treat sleep apnea and asthma. [More]
Income, race and ethnic origin may play more potent roles in asthma risk

Income, race and ethnic origin may play more potent roles in asthma risk

Challenging the long-standing belief that city dwellers suffer disproportionately from asthma, the results of a new Johns Hopkins Children's Center study of more than 23,000 U.S. children reveal that income, race and ethnic origin may play far more potent roles in asthma risk than kids' physical surroundings. [More]
Researchers identify novel signaling pathway that triggers allergic asthma response

Researchers identify novel signaling pathway that triggers allergic asthma response

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in Korea and Scotland, have identified a novel signaling pathway critical to the immune response of cells associated with the initiation of allergic asthma. [More]
Leading microbiologist warns of killer fungi’s increasing threat

Leading microbiologist warns of killer fungi’s increasing threat

A leading microbiologist has warned of the increasing threat that killer fungi poses to humans and the environment. [More]
Changes in health limitations, chronic conditions can predict mortgage distress

Changes in health limitations, chronic conditions can predict mortgage distress

The mortgage strain of American home ownership can lead to poor health but a new study finds that the inverse may also be true-- changes in health can serve as a predictor to mortgage distress. [More]
Medical co-morbidities associated with direct maternal deaths in the UK

Medical co-morbidities associated with direct maternal deaths in the UK

Medical co-morbidities, when women have one or more medical conditions, are found to be an important factor associated with direct maternal deaths, suggests a new study published today (9 January) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG). [More]
Study finds that asthma may increase obstructive sleep apnea risk

Study finds that asthma may increase obstructive sleep apnea risk

Participants in a sleep study who had asthma had an increased risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea, with this association stronger with having had asthma longer, according to a study in the January 13 issue of JAMA. [More]
U-M researchers identify how amlexanox drug improves metabolism of sugar

U-M researchers identify how amlexanox drug improves metabolism of sugar

Researchers at the University of Michigan have identified how a promising drug in clinical trials for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic disorders improves the metabolism of sugar by generating a new signal between fat cells and the liver. [More]
EMA accepts Praluent (alirocumab) MAA for review

EMA accepts Praluent (alirocumab) MAA for review

Regeneron and Sanofi today announced that the European Medicines Agency has accepted for review the Marketing Authorization Application for Praluent (alirocumab). Alirocumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody targeting PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) that is intended for the treatment of patients with hypercholesterolemia. [More]
LJI researcher awarded $1.6 million grant to study factors that trigger onset of type 1 diabetes

LJI researcher awarded $1.6 million grant to study factors that trigger onset of type 1 diabetes

The American Diabetes Association has awarded La Jolla Institute researcher Stephanie Stanford, Ph.D., a $1.6 million grant to investigate the genetic and environmental factors that trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes. [More]
Two new ODYSSEY trials meet primary efficacy endpoints

Two new ODYSSEY trials meet primary efficacy endpoints

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi today announced that two new ODYSSEY trials, which are the first Phase 3 trials to assess alirocumab administered every four weeks, met their primary efficacy endpoints. [More]
American Migraine Foundation plans to create Migraine Patient Registry and Biorepository

American Migraine Foundation plans to create Migraine Patient Registry and Biorepository

Migraine affects 36 million Americans, can have a major impact on patients' quality of life, and even on their relationships. The World Health Organization estimates that migraine is the third most prevalent medical disorder in the world, the 4th most disabling among women and the 7th most disabling overall. [More]
FDA approves Hospira's Dyloject (diclofenac sodium) Injection for pain management

FDA approves Hospira's Dyloject (diclofenac sodium) Injection for pain management

Hospira, Inc., the world's leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies, and a global leader in biosimilars, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Dyloject (diclofenac sodium) Injection, a proprietary nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) analgesic. [More]
Newron, Zambon announce re-submission of safinamide NDA to FDA

Newron, Zambon announce re-submission of safinamide NDA to FDA

Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A., a research and development company focused on novel CNS and pain therapies, and its commercial and development partner Zambon S.p.A., an international pharmaceutical company, announced today that the NDA for safinamide has been re-submitted to the US FDA. [More]
Infectious disease specialist underscores the importance of flu vaccines

Infectious disease specialist underscores the importance of flu vaccines

Flu season is in full swing, but it's not too late to get a flu vaccine. In fact, it's never been easier and more convenient. [More]