Children with mild to moderate persistent asthma are at greater risk of developing chronic lung disease as young adults and, therefore, may require lifelong treatment even if their asthma symptoms subside for extended periods, according to a major national study co-led by researchers at the School of Medicine.
Following patients from childhood into young adulthood, a study led by Robert Strunk, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows the progression toward worse lung function in those who become obese as they grow into young adulthood.
Scientists have long suspected that respiratory viruses play a critical role in the development of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studying mouse and cell models of this process, researchers now have shown how immune cells dispatched to the lung to destroy a respiratory virus can fail to disperse after their job is done, setting off a chain of inflammatory events that leads to long-term lung problems.
In cells lining the airway, high levels of certain proteins have long been linked with the overproduction of mucus characteristic of diseases like asthma and COPD. New research from the School of Medicine provides clues to potentially counteract inappropriate mucus production.
An investigational drug appears to cut the risk of severe asthma attacks in half for patients who have difficulty controlling the disorder with standard medications, according to results from two multicenter clinical trials headed by Mario Castro, MD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the School of Medicine.
The antibiotic azithromycin may reduce the risk of recurrent wheezing in infants hospitalized with a common respiratory infection, according to a small pilot study at the School of Medicine. Reduced wheezing may lower an infant’s risk of developing asthma over the next several years, according to the researchers, including first author Avraham Beigelman, MD.
Doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are seeking African-Americans with asthma to participate in a new study evaluating treatment for this common breathing disorder.
A new study led by Michael J. Holtzman, MD, at the School of Medicine suggests that a fundamental antiviral defense mechanism is intact in asthma. This indicates that another aspect of the immune system must explain the difficulty people with asthma have when they encounter respiratory viruses.
Adding vitamin D to asthma treatment to improve breathing only appears to benefit patients who achieve sufficient levels of the supplement in the blood. Overall, the ability to control asthma did not differ between a study group that received vitamin D supplements and a group that received placebo. Mario Castro, MD, (left) led the study.
Charles Ward Parker, MD, a Washington University faculty member whose pioneering research helped improve treatment of allergies and asthma, died Tuesday, April 23, 2013, from pancreatic cancer at his home in Webster Groves. He was 83.