Breaking: Scientists Discover What Causes Asthma, Cure Will Be Here in 5 Years!
Good news for millions of asthma sufferers: a research team led by Cardiff University in the UK believes they have finally uncovered the root cause of asthma, and what’s more, they are claiming that the cure could be here within the next 5 years.
As it stands right now, about 95% of all asthma sufferers successfully control their symptoms with the use of inhalers, which themselves come with other risks and side effects. But a remaining small percentage of asthma sufferers do not respond to any treatment at all, which is understandably concerning.
The discovery at Cardiff University was a chance happening. Professor Riccardi, who was formerly a bones specialist, had transferred from an osteoporosis study to a lung study a few years ago. During her time in the lung study, she realized that a certain protein, a calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) that triggers the growth of calcium in human bones is also quite active in the lungs and airways. Exploring this further, it was discovered that people with asthma have a significantly higher level of CaSR than people without asthma.
What happens when triggers such as dust or pollen is breathed in to the airways by asthmatics, is that the CaSR molecules set off a chain of motion which quickly increases calcium in the lung tissue cells. When this happens, the overload of calcium makes the lung cells contract, causing the airways to spasm which triggers the asthma attack. The more this happens, the more the cells become sensitive to the triggers, which could increase frequency of asthma attacks. It is a big breakthrough to finally have a scientific explanation of what asthma is and exactly how it occurs.
What may be the best news of all, is that there is already a drug on the market that could potentially bring lasting relief to asthma sufferers. It is classified as a calcilytic and can get rid of the CaSR protein that causes issues in osteoporosis. This drug has been around for 15 years, but even though it was safe, was not proven effective for osteoporosis patients.
According to the Cardiff team, which includes scientists from both King’s College in London and the Mayo Clinic in the US, early tests in mice and human tissue show the calcilytic drug to have great promise as a treatment for asthma. The team is looking into putting the drug into a nebulizer and having it breathed straight into the lungs. The hope is that a few rounds of treatment could stop asthma attacks indefinitely.