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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.
WUSM researchers sequence genome of enterovirus D68 samples from patients

WUSM researchers sequence genome of enterovirus D68 samples from patients

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have sequenced the genome of enterovirus D68 sampled from patients treated at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Nationwide, the virus has spread rapidly in recent months and caused severe respiratory illness in young children, with some patients requiring hospitalization. [More]
New study pinpoints complex genetic origins for autoimmune diseases

New study pinpoints complex genetic origins for autoimmune diseases

Scores of autoimmune diseases afflicting one in 12 Americans — ranging from type 1 diabetes, to multiple sclerosis (MS), to rheumatoid arthritis, to asthma — mysteriously cause the immune system to harm tissues within our own bodies. Now, a new study pinpoints the complex genetic origins for many of these diseases, a discovery that may lead to better diagnosis and ultimately to improved treatments. [More]
Study shows that obese children may mistake asthma symptoms, overuse rescue medications

Study shows that obese children may mistake asthma symptoms, overuse rescue medications

New research shows obese children with asthma may mistake symptoms of breathlessness for loss of asthma control leading to high and unnecessary use of rescue medications. The study was published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the official scientific journal of the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. [More]
CPS students and staff received EAIs for acute allergic reactions

CPS students and staff received EAIs for acute allergic reactions

During the 2012-2013 school year, 38 Chicago Public School (CPS) students and staff were given emergency medication for potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. [More]
Newborns of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have altered stress hormones, DNA

Newborns of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have altered stress hormones, DNA

Researchers from The Miriam Hospital have studied the effects of smoking during pregnancy and its impact on the stress response in newborn babies. Their research indicates that newborns of mothers who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy show lower levels of stress hormones, lowered stress response, and alterations in DNA for a gene that regulates passage of stress hormones from mother to fetus. [More]
Regeneron, Sanofi announce initiation of dupilumab Phase 3 study in adults with atopic dermatitis

Regeneron, Sanofi announce initiation of dupilumab Phase 3 study in adults with atopic dermatitis

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi today announced that the first patients have been dosed in a Phase 3 clinical study of dupilumab, an investigational therapy that blocks IL-4 and IL-13 signaling, in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) that is not adequately controlled with topical AD medications. [More]
Children infected with enterovirus more likely to have type 1 diabetes

Children infected with enterovirus more likely to have type 1 diabetes

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that children who have been infected with enterovirus are 48% more likely to have developed type 1 diabetes. The study is by Dr Tsai Chung-Li, China Medical University, Taiwan, and colleagues. [More]
Kalorama Information: Experimental vaccine distribution in the UK points to growing flu vaccine market

Kalorama Information: Experimental vaccine distribution in the UK points to growing flu vaccine market

Kalorama Information believes an experimental vaccine distribution in the United Kingdom and other similar developments point to a growing flu vaccine market, as well as a growing market for the production of these vaccines. [More]
Boehringer Ingelheim's OFEV (nintedanib) capsules receive FDA approval for IPF treatment

Boehringer Ingelheim's OFEV (nintedanib) capsules receive FDA approval for IPF treatment

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved OFEV (nintedanib) capsules for oral use for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). [More]
Consultant Live unveils new online sleep disorders educational program for doctors, nurses

Consultant Live unveils new online sleep disorders educational program for doctors, nurses

UBM Medica US announces that Consultant Live a leading online community for primary care clinicians, has unveiled a new online sleep disorders educational program to help doctors and nurses help their patients get a good night's rest. [More]
Preoperative IV ibuprofen improves quality of recovery after laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery

Preoperative IV ibuprofen improves quality of recovery after laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery

Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that preoperative intravenous ibuprofen improved overall quality of recovery in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery. These results will be presented at the American Anesthesiology 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. [More]
Grand Challenges Canada announces 11 seed grants to improve mental health in developing countries

Grand Challenges Canada announces 11 seed grants to improve mental health in developing countries

On the day the world is collectively raising awareness on mental health issues, Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, announced new funding for 11 novel ideas to improve mental health in developing countries, one of the biggest unmet needs of our time. Seed grants of up to $270,000 are awarded to 11 innovators from Canada and low- and middle-income countries, totalling $2.9 million CAD. [More]
Views on giving flu shot to younger children

Views on giving flu shot to younger children

It's a common question parents ask themselves this time of year: Does my child really need a flu shot? Though the flu may seem harmless, the truth is on average 20,000 children age 5 and younger are hospitalized due to flu symptoms each year. [More]
Boehringer Ingelheim announces availability of Striverdi Respimat Inhalation Spray 5 mcg in the U.S.

Boehringer Ingelheim announces availability of Striverdi Respimat Inhalation Spray 5 mcg in the U.S.

Boehringer Ingelheim today announced that Striverdi Respimat (olodaterol) Inhalation Spray 5 mcg is now available by prescription in pharmacies across the United States. [More]
Gerresheimer Q3 revenues up 2.2% to EUR 323.9m

Gerresheimer Q3 revenues up 2.2% to EUR 323.9m

Gerresheimer AG again increased revenues in the third quarter of financial year 2014. [More]
Pinnacle initiates pivotal Phase 3 trial in Germany for rare form of bile duct cancer

Pinnacle initiates pivotal Phase 3 trial in Germany for rare form of bile duct cancer

Pinnacle Biologics, Inc., a subsidiary of Concordia Healthcare Corp., announced today the initiation of the pivotal Phase 3 trial (OPUS) in Germany for a rare form of bile duct cancer for which there is currently no acceptable therapy. [More]
Genetic differences influence asthma risk in Latinos

Genetic differences influence asthma risk in Latinos

Native American ancestry is associated with a lower asthma risk, but African ancestry is associated with a higher risk, according to the largest-ever study of how genetic variation influences asthma risk in Latinos, in whom both African and Native American ancestry is common. The study, led by UC San Francisco researchers, was published online October 6, 2014 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. [More]
Survey: Many U.S. adults support equal healthcare coverage for undocumented immigrant children

Survey: Many U.S. adults support equal healthcare coverage for undocumented immigrant children

Access to health insurance is very limited for immigrants living in the U.S. - both undocumented immigrants and permanent residents. But a new survey has found that many U.S. adults who work on behalf of children think undocumented immigrant children should have access to healthcare equal to that of U.S.-born children. [More]
CHLA reports first confirmed case of enterovirus D68 in Los Angeles

CHLA reports first confirmed case of enterovirus D68 in Los Angeles

In September, Children's Hospital Los Angeles physicians predicted it was a matter of when, and not if, Los Angeles children would become infected with Enterovirus EV-D68, commonly referred to as enterovirus D68. On Oct. 1, that day came. CHLA and public health officials announced that a young patient who had been hospitalized at CHLA with a respiratory illness and later experienced partial limb paralysis had tested positive for enterovirus D68. [More]
Researchers find new clues to how common cold can trigger asthma

Researchers find new clues to how common cold can trigger asthma

Researchers have identified a molecular mechanism that could explain why the common cold can bring on life-threatening asthma attacks. [More]