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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 identifies ADAM33 gene as novel target for preventing asthma

Study identifies ADAM33 gene as novel target for preventing asthma

Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a potential and novel way of preventing asthma at the origin of the disease, a finding that could challenge the current understanding of the condition. [More]
Biochemists design genetic poison pill to thwart coxsackievirus B3

Biochemists design genetic poison pill to thwart coxsackievirus B3

It has a funny name - coxsackievirus - but there's nothing funny about how this tiny germ and its close relatives sicken their hosts. [More]
Scientists uncover structure of cold virus linked to severe asthma, respiratory infections in children

Scientists uncover structure of cold virus linked to severe asthma, respiratory infections in children

The atomic structure of an elusive cold virus linked to severe asthma and respiratory infections in children has been solved by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Purdue University. [More]
AHSN already working to tackle sepsis across North East and North Cumbria

AHSN already working to tackle sepsis across North East and North Cumbria

Doctors and nurses in the region have been working collaboratively for over a year to ensure the effective recognition and response to sepsis. [More]
Study finds significant differences among pediatric hospitals in managing inpatients with asthma

Study finds significant differences among pediatric hospitals in managing inpatients with asthma

Children's hospitals vary greatly in managing inpatients with asthma, according to researchers who analyzed hospital records in a large national database. [More]
ASA recommends parents to ask seven questions to child's physician anesthesiologist prior to surgery

ASA recommends parents to ask seven questions to child's physician anesthesiologist prior to surgery

Millions of children have surgery every year - for everything from tonsil removal to correction of a heart defect - and understandably parents are often anxious about their child's safety and comfort. [More]
Single dose of new molecule could protect the brain from cognitive impairments after mTBI

Single dose of new molecule could protect the brain from cognitive impairments after mTBI

A new molecule could protect the brain from cognitive impairments after a mild traumatic brain injury, according to Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists. [More]
Childhood exposure to microbes through thumb-sucking, nail-biting may lower risk of allergies

Childhood exposure to microbes through thumb-sucking, nail-biting may lower risk of allergies

Children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails may be less likely to develop allergies, according to a new study from New Zealand's University of Otago. [More]
Exposure to London's 1952 smog linked to increased incidence of childhood, adult asthma

Exposure to London's 1952 smog linked to increased incidence of childhood, adult asthma

London's Great Smog of 1952 resulted in thousands of premature deaths and even more people becoming ill. [More]
Study finds similar care for Medicaid and non-Medicaid pediatric asthma inpatients

Study finds similar care for Medicaid and non-Medicaid pediatric asthma inpatients

Children covered by Medicaid and equally sick children not covered by Medicaid received essentially similar asthma treatment in a given pediatric hospital, according to a new study. [More]
Bringing healthcare home: an interview with Dr Andrew Lin

Bringing healthcare home: an interview with Dr Andrew Lin

The goal of CliniCloud is to bring healthcare home. For us, what that means is a patient-centered and patient-modeled healthcare system, where we focus on the fact that consumers want access to healthcare and to a doctor. We're building an ecosystem around the tools and the software to really enable that to happen as conveniently and as affordably as possible. [More]
Advances in inhaled drug delivery: an interview with Dr Robert Clarke

Advances in inhaled drug delivery: an interview with Dr Robert Clarke

Delivering drugs to the lungs via inhalation has a number of potential advantages over traditional routes of administration like pills or injections. For treating pulmonary diseases, the obvious logic we are applying is topical delivery to the airways via inhalation. [More]
New study may help develop effective medication for severe pain

New study may help develop effective medication for severe pain

The nerve cells that transmit pain signals in the body are called nociceptors. When activated they release pro-inflammatory neuropeptides. In order to recognise harmful external influences, nociceptors are equipped with a wide range of receptors. [More]
New IDSA guidelines focus on diagnosis, treatment of deadly aspergillosis

New IDSA guidelines focus on diagnosis, treatment of deadly aspergillosis

New therapies are improving care, but early diagnosis remains critical in the effective treatment of invasive, a potentially deadly fungal infection, according to new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. [More]
Allergy-causing immune cells play life-saving role in deadly C. difficile infection

Allergy-causing immune cells play life-saving role in deadly C. difficile infection

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified immune cells vital for protecting us from potentially fatal C. difficile infection. Surprisingly, those cells are often vilified for their role in causing asthma and allergies. But when it comes to C. difficile, they could be the difference in life and death. [More]
Researchers test new drug with potential to reverse or slow progression of asthma

Researchers test new drug with potential to reverse or slow progression of asthma

A new drug with the potential to reverse or slow the development of asthma is being tested by researchers at The University of Queensland. [More]
New study shows microRNAs play important role in inducing asthma

New study shows microRNAs play important role in inducing asthma

A new study shows that microRNAs, which are small, noncoding RNA molecules that can silence genes, have an important role in inducing asthma. [More]
Latest comprehensive survey reveals top health concerns for South Siders

Latest comprehensive survey reveals top health concerns for South Siders

Residents on the South Side say cancer, violence prevention and sexually transmitted infections are among their top health concerns, according to the latest comprehensive assessment conducted by the University of Chicago Medicine. [More]
Could artificial intelligence help to combat stress? An interview with Davide Morelli

Could artificial intelligence help to combat stress? An interview with Davide Morelli

Stress is actually a bit of a buzzword. The initial definition was “the reaction to changes”, which is why you get stressed also when good things happen, hence the distinction between good stress, eustress, and bad stress, distress. [More]
Study to examine new ways to transfer autistic child's improving communication skills into education setting

Study to examine new ways to transfer autistic child's improving communication skills into education setting

A University of Manchester-led study is testing whether an intervention with parents and teachers can help children with autism transfer newly acquired social communication skills from home into school. [More]
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