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Wednesday 24th January 2018

Research helps asthma sufferers

14th August 2006

02032006_AsthmaBoyWithInhalerL.jpgResearchers from Imperial College London have discovered a group of proteins that could be responsible for asthma attacks that result from colds, which may lead the way to new treatments.

Approximately 200 people are admitted to hospital due to asthma attacks every day in the UK, with the condition affecting around 5.2 million people. Asthmatics have lower levels interferons, infection-fighting proteins, in their lungs, which makes them more vulnerable to common colds.

Interferons are one of the first lines of defence against viral infections; lower levels in asthma sufferers means that a cold may result in a severe asthma attack which may be fatal. Focusing new treatments on the boosting interferon levels could reduce the risk of serious asthma attacks, hope scientists.

Dr Sebastian Johnston, lead researcher, said that "Delivery of the deficient interferons by inhalers could be an ideal way to treat and prevent severe attacks of asthma."

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