As a personal sufferer of asthma, the stabbing feeling of knowing you are about to have an asthma attack can be very frightening. That is why I was so interested in an article on The Huffington Post which suggests that researchers have potentially found a cure for asthma.
In someone who has asthma, the cells in the windpipe inflame due to an immune response which cause asthma symptoms. Interestingly, the article states that 5.4 million people suffer from asthma in the UK alone and the statistic which shocked me was that 3 people die everyday from the chronic disease.
The research into an asthma cure was carried out at John Hopkins University, where they have found that the immune cell M2 macrophage’s levels in asthma sufferers is considerably higher than in everybody else. The difference in asthma patients is that the M2 is constantly being produced in their bodies, unlike non-sufferers who can control its production. As M2 is part of the immune pathway, this leads me to believe that it may also be linked to why so many asthma sufferers also have many allergies.
Some proteins can control its production as shown in mice and this causes levels of M2 to decrease. The decrease in M2 would be a good solution to prevent asthma, however, the protein is produced in humans for a reason and so without it, I believe there would be several drastic consequences on asthma sufferers’ bodies.
The team have isolated two possible proteins, GRB10 and p70S6K which stopped all development of M2 in the lungs of mice. The article concludes that these could be part of a new inhaler system, however, I do not think this would be possible as there would be nothing to actually sustain the proteins in the inhaler until their usage.
Potentially this could stop asthma altogether, but I am sceptical about whether the proteins will be able to be administered and how they will be kept.
Keep your eyes peeled for my next post,