New asthma research could be a possible breakthrough for better treatment

Scientists have made an important discovery that could lead to better treatment for people with asthma. In a study conducted by scientists from Edith Cowan University, Australia, it was found that people with severe asthma have a distinct biochemical profile in their urine compared to people with mild or moderate asthma and healthy people. The research, which was published in the European Respiratory Journal, was part of the larger U-BIOPRED study, a wider pan-European initiative that seeks to study asthma and its different subtypes.

The team of researchers led by Dr Stacey Reinke (ECU) and Dr Craig Wheelock (Karolinska Institute, Sweden) found that severe asthmatics had lower levels of carnitines, a specific type of metabolite. Carnitines are a crucial part of the body’s cellular energy generation process along with the immune response. Further analysis revealed that carnitine is metabolized more slowly in the body of severe asthmatics.

Researchers hope this breakthrough will help develop better treatment methodologies. “Severe asthma occurs when a person’s asthma is not controlled, despite being treated with high levels of medication and/or multiple medications. To identify and develop new treatment options, we first need to better understand the mechanisms underlying the disease,” explained Dr. Reinke.

One of the hot spots in asthma research is the difficulty scientists have in directly studying the lungs. Since invasive procedures are difficult, it becomes difficult for scientists to investigate what is happening in the lungs. But because the lungs are densely packed with blood vessels, scientists can study the pattern of blood passing through the lungs. Any chemical changes in the blood are then excreted from the urine, which scientists can study easily.

“In this case, we were able to use the urinary metabolome of asthmatics to identify fundamental differences in energy metabolism that could represent a target for novel interventions in asthma control,” Dr. Reinke added.

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New asthma research could be a possible breakthrough for better treatment


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