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Asthma Breakthrough: treating the right airways
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 03:07

Emerging research at The Alfred may hold the answer for sufferers of severe asthma.


Professor Bruce Thompson, Head Physiology Service in Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (AIRMed) at The Alfred suggests that current medications for severe asthma have not been particularly effective because they are treating the wrong airways.  Most people with asthma use an inhaler but that treatment only reaches the medium to large central airways.  However, in severe asthma, the main focus of the issue occurs in the peripheral small airways.


Professor Thompson and fellow Alfred chief investigator Professor Robyn O'Hehir, AIRMed Director, plan to build on promising preliminary research showing that the small airways are the predominant problem area for asthma patients, with a new study to be jointly performed with the Royal North Shore Hospital.


"If this research shows that improving outcomes for patients with asthma is as simple as inhaling a smaller particle drug this will fundamentally alter current treatments; not only those with severe and unstable asthma but also those with milder forms of the disease." Professor Thompson said.


The study will recruit 120 patients aged 18-55 years with severe asthma.  Recruitment will begin in 2016 with results to be analysed in 2019.


We need to ensure patients are on top of their asthma management and that their asthma action plan to ensure it is current and to be aware of when to take action if required.


Asthma action plans are available on the NAC website.



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