Asthma is a leading chronic disease. It is a major cause of disability and poor quality of life worldwide. As per statistics, asthma affects over 230 million people worldwide and around 26 million of them are Americans.
Most of the people who suffer from asthma find inhalers effective to regulate their symptoms, and around 5% of patients do not respond well to any treatment.
In a major breakthrough, scientists from Cardiff University, King’s College London and the Mayo Clinic in the US have discovered that protein molecules within the airways play a major role in asthma.
Tests revealed that asthma patients have far higher levels of proteins called calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) as compared to healthy people. These proteins stimulate calcium-sensing receptors that trigger asthma attacks by further increasing the inflammation of the airways.
Interestingly, a drug known to block these proteins already exists, raising the hopes of an early and effective treatment for asthma patients. The scientists have used the drug calcityrol in mice and human tissues. The drug showed promising results as an asthma treatment by effectively reducing inflammation of the airways
However, scientists are making sure that this drug effectively cures asthma with minimum side effects. They plan to carry out clinical trials in a couple of years, and if they succeed in this, we may be few years away from a new treatment for asthma.