Scientists investigating the genes involved in the development of asthma may have found a way to ‘switch’ the condition off and stop it from emerging.
The research carried out at the University of Southampton analysed the impact of the gene ADAM33, which is associated with the origin of asthma.
ADAM33 makes an enzyme, which is attached to cells in the airway muscles.
When the enzyme loses its anchor to the cell surface it affects the lung and caused poorer breathing function in people who have asthma.
The studies in human tissue samples and mice found that if scientists switch off ADAM33 or prevent it from attacking the lungs, the features of asthma known as remodelling, such as more muscle and blood vessels around the airways, twitchiness and inflammation, – will be reduced.
Research is ‘promising’
Dr. Samantha Walker, Asthma UK’s Director of Research and Policy, described the research as ‘promising’.
She said: ‘This will hopefully bring us even closer to stopping asthma attacks and finding a cure for the one in 11 people with asthma in the UK.
‘Each day three people die of asthma attacks. Research like this is a step in the right direction although much more investment is needed.
‘There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK for whom current treatments don’t work and they struggle to breathe every day.
‘Research like this will give us better avenues to explore why this is the case and to develop treatments that work.’
This story was sourced from the ITV news website.