Cardiff University’s team of scientists and researchers have revealed that they might have potentially found the root cause for asthma, while it’s even been suggested that a cure could be in circulation in five years time.
According to the BBC, this team believes that asthma is caused by a calcium sensing receptor, a protein within the airways, and their tests suggest that it could be treated with the drug calcilytics.
Daniela Riccardi, who was the lead investigator on the team that included scientists from King’s College London, the Mayo Clinic, and Cardiff University, revealed that they used mice with human airway tissue from both asthmatic and non-asthmatic individuals to conduct their study.
Riccardi couldn’t hide her excitement about the discovery, explaining, via the Daily Mail, “Our findings are incredibly exciting. For the first time we have found a link between airways inflammation, which can be caused by environmental triggers — such as allergens, cigarette smoke, and car fumes — and airways twitchiness in allergic asthma. It makes the cells much more sensitive to the asthmas triggers, which then make an attack much more likely.”
Tests that have been carried out so far using calcilytic, which was developed 15 years ago to treat osteoporosis patients, have been very positive. The plan is to turn the drug into a mist that will then be breathed into the lungs via a nebuliser. In fact, scientists are hopefully that after a few rounds of treatment in this fashion asthma will be eradicated, and attacks won’t recur.
Professor Riccardi was even confident enough to predict that if the use of calcilytics is found to be safe, the treatment can be circulated across the world in five years time and the disease could be eradicated.
“If we can prove that calcilytics are safe when administrated directly to the lung in people,” she explained, “then in five years we could be in a position to treat patients and potentially stop asthmas from happening in the first place.”
At the moment, 95 percent of the 300 million people who suffer from the disease across the world use inhalers to regulate their breathing when they suffer an asthma attack. However, the remaining percentage of these individuals do not respond to any treatment whatsoever.
[Image via the Mirror]