In a recent research, Scientists may have hit upon an effective method to deflect asthma attacks by detecting the two most substantial biologic triggers that bring them on.
Asthma a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways associated with increased airway hyper-responsiveness, recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest discomfort, and coughing.‘ Around 15 million people in India are suffering from asthma however disease management in India still continues to remain unsatisfactory, according to a recent study from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), even in developed countries like USA there is 10% increase in Asthma patients every year. Worldwide the disease prevalence is around 300 million-“WHO Report”.
The investigators from the Johns Hopkins and Universities of California-San Francisco (UCSF) present, these two biologic triggers for asthma, which are connected to a particular calcium-activated chloride channel, known as TMEM16A. According to the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, The scientists regulate airway secretions and smooth muscle contraction, the two major factors linked with asthma attacks.
Senior study author, Assistant professor, Jason Rock, at Universities of California-San Francisco (UCSF), “Maybe if we could inhibit both of these processes by blocking this one channel, we could affect the two symptoms of asthma.” Usually, humans have few mucus-producing cells. Those suffering from asthma, however, have an elicited number of these cells lining the tubes that lead to the lungs.
According to him, “The superabundance of mucus stopping up the airways linked with hyper-contractility of the smooth muscle – when the tubes get really small – make it difficult to pass air in or out”.
Rock and his team focused on TMEM16A channel ( calcium-activated chloride) that secretes chloride ions, besides regulating organic processes such as neuron firing, gastrointestinal activity and the secretion of sweat and tears. They identified three chemicals that inhibit the channel. “We tested the ability of these chemicals to inhibit TMEM16A and other channels, and we found that they specifically block TMEM16A”. Further investigations are underway to get this molecule into clinical trials to benefit patients and to control this disease.
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