Apr 22, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

‘Asthma Attack’: Step Closer Treatment Through The Discovery Of Protein

Mar 02, 2017 06:35 PM EST

The narrowing of airways during severe asthma attacks was linked to an active form of a key protein called HMGB1. The study was headed by Dr. Ruth Saunders from the University of Leicester Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation.

According to Science Daily, the new finding creates opportunity for the drug developers to create a product that specifically target the protein for the treatment of allergy non-allergic asthma attack. The study utilized mucous and airway muscle samples from people suffering mild to moderate asthma, severe asthma, and healthy volunteers. These volunteers were recruited from Leicester's Glenfield Hospital.

Asthma attack can be allergic or non-allergic but both can get worse when exercising in cold air, after inhaling smoke, dust or fumes. As reported by WebMD, allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma which affects 90 percent of kids with allergies and 50 percent of adults.

Non-allergic asthma attack on the other hand is triggered by stress, anxiety, cold or dry air, and hyperventilation. It usually occurs in adults who suffer frequent respiratory tract infections. The symptoms of non-allergic asthma includes; wheezing, purulent nasal discharge and reddish discoloration of mucous membranes.

New therapies for allergy-induced asthma attack are quite a lot as compared to non-allergic, stated by Dr. Sauders. He also added that there is still a need for new therapies for asthma that is not linked with allergies. The researchers have discovered that there is an increase of HMGB1 in the mucous from the airways of people with severe asthma. The protein is further released in the airways by cells that is involved in inflammation or damaged cells.

According to the scientists, so far, this is the first study showing the direct effect of the protein in enhancing airway muscle contraction in response to stimuli. The findings of these research is a step closer in creating a perfect treatment approach with patients suffering from severe asthma attacks.

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