Asthma: November 2006 Archives

NIAIDWashington University said Tuesday that it plans to use a $7.7 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to establish a new center for asthma research at the university's medical school.

The project was funded Aug. 15, 2006, according to Washington University spokeswoman Gwen Ericson, who said Dr. Michael Holtzman will lead the new center. The center will investigate the causes of asthma to develop new treatments for the disease. It will conduct research specifically focused on how the body's immune system contributes to asthma.

"Normally, immunity is under tight control," said Holtzman, who directs the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, in a statement. "But if the immune response goes too far, it can cause inflammatory diseases like asthma."

Tokyo offers asthma lifeline

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asthmaThe Tokyo metropolitan government proposed to the Tokyo High Court on Tuesday that it will create a new system to help all residents suffering from asthma as a reconciliation plan with 96 plaintiffs who filed a damages suit against the central and Tokyo governments, the former public expressway corporation and others asking for compensation of about 2 billion yen.

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara visited the high court on Tuesday afternoon to explain the reconciliation plan. The high court will show the plan to other defendants, including the central government, and the plaintiffs, and urge them to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Unani drug found effective in bronchial asthma

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asthmaNew Delhi, Nov. 28 (ANI) - A concoction of herbal drugs used in Unani Medicine has shown encouraging results in the treatment of chronic lung diseases, such as asthma.

The coded combination Asthma-5 has shown good response in chronic patients of bronchial asthma. In mild and moderate asthma the drug has shown significant symptomatic relief.

The drug took about 15 days to reach the optimum level, the study said. It was also noted that the maximum effect was seen after 90 days of treatment.

New risk score helps identify severe asthma cases

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asthma LONDON (Reuters) - A new clinical tool to help doctors identify asthma patients most likely to need hospital treatment could improve the care of patients and reduce costs, researchers said on Tuesday.

The TENOR Risk Score determines the most difficult-to-treat cases by assessing factors such as the patient's age, weight, smoking status, medical history, medications and breathing and exercise tests.

In a three year study published in the European Respiratory Journal, patients with the highest score were 10 times more likely to need emergency treatment or be admitted to hospital than other asthma sufferers.

"The risk score derived is a clinically useful tool for assessing the likelihood of asthma-related hospitalization or emergency department visits," said Mary Miller of Genentech Inc who is a co-author of the study.

AAP 2006: New Research in Asthma, Eczema, and Urticaria

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researchOn Saturday, October 7, 2006, the AAP Section on Allergy and Immunology sponsored a session reviewing recent publications in the fields of asthma, eczema, and urticaria.

Asthma Diagnosis and Management

The first speaker was Dr. Paul Williams, Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center in Seattle, Washington, who was Chairman of the Section on Allergy and Immunology at AAP. He highlighted recent articles on the prevention of and care for patients with asthma. He reviewed studies covering the epidemiology of asthma, identification of severity and proper severity classification, and variation in symptom severity.[1]

Asthma drugs cause immune cell build-up

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proventil NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The use of beta-agonist inhalers, which include drugs such as Proventil (albuterol), for asthma appears to promote the accumulation of immune cells called type 2 T cells, according to a report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The results reinforce the importance of including anti-inflammatory steroids, note the authors.

"Our findings that suggest beta-agonists promote preferential type 2 T-cell accumulation are consistent with clinical findings that continuous beta-agonist therapy leads to deterioration of control in some asthmatics," Dr. Raymond B. Penn from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Reuters Health. "Why this deterioration occurs is not clear, but the fact that deterioration is less likely to occur when...steroids are used in conjunction suggests a failure to control inflammation."

Big dry means bad air days

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droughtDROUGHT, wind-blown dust and bushfire smoke have emerged as the latest problems for Melbourne's air quality.

Twenty years ago, photochemical smog cooked up from car emissions was the enemy. Now, with tighter emission controls and cleaner fuels, there is a new threat to fresh air.

"In terms of extreme pollution events, in the last few years it's been due to drought-related effects such as wind-blown dust and bushfire smoke," Environment Protection Authority Victoria regional services executive director Bruce Dawson said. "Everyone is on high alert as to this year being a potentially serious bushfire season — we'll make sure people understand there are possible air quality and environmental impacts associated with that."

Asthma myths need to be busted

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survey ONE in two parents here feel they need to know more about asthma, found a survey by the Asthma Association.

The survey also revealed that many parents do not know about the available treatment options and still cling to myths regarding asthma.

One is that asthmatic children should avoid physical activity and sport. This is untrue, said Dr Lynette Shek, Paediatric Consultant at the National University Hospital (NUH). "In fact, the current evidence is that exercise should be encouraged … The large Academies in America and Europe recommend exercise to be prescribed, like medicine, for people with asthma," she said.

Why some inhalers can make asthma worse?

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asthma inhalerThe work of researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center may shed new light on why some inhalers can worsen asthma.

Raymond Penn and Matt Loza, scientists in Wake Forest's School of Medicine, led a research team studying the effect of a class of drugs called beta agonists - often found in inhalers - on cells collected from healthy people.

They found that the drug increases a type of white-blood cell involved in immune-system defense. These Type 2 T-cells are thought to contribute to such health problems as asthma and even lupus. They're seeing similar results in preliminary research of cells collected from asthmatics.

Stress Quadruples Risk of Asthma Attacks in Children

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asthmaISLAMABAD - Children with asthma face quadruple the risk of an attack following stressful events in their lives, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Thorax.

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, studied 60 children between the ages of 6 and 13, who had suffered from asthma for at least three years.

The children were asked to keep daily records over 18 months of acute attacks and their breath strength. Researchers regularly interviewed the children and their parents about stressful life events.

After the information was analyzed, the children were found to be four times as likely to experience a sudden worsening of symptoms with two days of a traumatic experience.

Undetected Infection Could Make Asthma Worse

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asthmaCHICAGO - A new discovery could help millions of Americans who suffer from asthma.

Medical Editor Mary Ann Childers reports on a connection between asthma and infections.

This new research suggests that an undetected lung infection could make chronic asthma worse. The good news is that it's easily treatable.

You wouldn't know it to look at her now, but doctors once gave Diane Cushman Neal only six months to live.

Antibiotic use in infants may double asthma risk

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asthmaChildren exposed to at least one course of antibiotics in their first year of life may have an increased risk of developing childhood asthma.

The research, published in the journal Chest, has shown that children under age 1 who were treated with an antibiotic were twice as likely as untreated children to develop asthma in childhood. In addition, the use of multiple antibiotics in infants appeared to further increase the risk of developing asthma.

" Antibiotic use in children has been found to coincide with an increased incidence of childhood asthma," said lead author Carlo Marra, University of British Columbia, Vancouver ( Canada ). "Although the causal nature between antibiotics and asthma is still unclear, our overall results show that treatment with at least one antibiotic as an infant appears to be associated with the development of childhood asthma."

New Standard Certifies Pillows as 'Asthma Friendly'

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pillowWASHINGTON, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A new certification standard has been launched this holiday season to help people with asthma and allergies find pillows that are more suitable for them. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that pillows and other bedding can be home to millions of dust mites and other allergens that cause asthma symptoms. Now, AAFA has launched the asthma friendly(R) Certification Program in the U.S. to help consumers identify the best tools for controlling and reducing allergen exposure in the home.

Medical experts advise that reducing exposure to dust mites should be a critical part of everyone's allergy and asthma management plan. "Dust mites are among the most common indoor allergens," says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, of the Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine. "We can't emphasize enough how important it is to get tested to learn if you have allergic sensitivities and to take steps to reduce exposure to dust mites."

Asthmatics may have higher rate of mental disorders

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asthmaISLAMABAD - The results of a study published in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry suggest there is an association between asthma and a range of mental disorders.

Dr. Renee D. Goodwin, of Columbia University, New York, and colleagues studied a sample of 13,222 adults in Germany. Current and lifetime asthma cases were identified based on physician diagnosis, and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to assess current and lifetime mental disorders.

The researchers found that 2.7 percent of the subjects currently had asthma and 5.74 percent had a history of asthma.

ACAAI: Asthma Deaths Decline Worldwide

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asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 20 -- Asthma mortality rates are declining worldwide, largely due to increased use of inhaled corticosteroids to better manage the disease, according to a report from an international group of asthma researchers.

In Argentina, for example, a recent analysis found a negative correlation between annual deaths from asthma and sales of inhaled corticosteroids during the 1990s, said Hugo Neffen, M.D., president of the Argentine Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Cordoba, Argentina, at a symposium held in conjunction with the meeting of the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology here.

Diet might help to prevent allergy and asthma

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breast feedingReport suggests changes in European diets over the past 20-40 years may have contributed to the increased incidence of allergic diseases in both children and adults seen over this period.

The publication from the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA²LEN) provides new insights into the role that diet may play in the development of allergies, especially in children.

The prevalence of allergic diseases has increased dramatically over the past few decades, especially in children. One child in three is allergic today and one in two people in Europe are likely to be suffering from at least one allergy by 2015.

GSKGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today welcomes new guidelines for Asthma Management and Prevention released today from The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). The guidelines emphasise that the overall aim of asthma treatment is to achieve and maintain long-term control of the disease and introduce a new classification of asthma based on levels of control1. Recommended treatment action is then based on the patient’s level of control.

Treatment recommendations continue to be based on the GINA 5-Step approach and the new guidelines continue to endorse use of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in combination with a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) at Steps 3 and 4 when a low dose of inhaled corticosteroid alone is not sufficient to achieve control. The guidelines highlight that physicians should view increased use of reliever medication as warning of deterioration of asthma control.

Asthma Linked to Early Smoke Exposure

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ashtrayYoung people who light up may find themselves sidelined with asthma. Early exposure to cigarette smoke is linked to the development of asthma in adolescents and teenagers.

Researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles tracked the smoking habits of 2,609 children and teens with no prior history of asthma. The study was held over the course of five to eight years, depending on the student's age at the beginning of the study. Participants who became regular smokers were more likely to develop asthma compared to non-smokers. Children who smoked 300 or more cigarettes per year were four times more likely to develop asthma than those who did not smoke.

"A year after they start smoking regularly, the risk triples for the development of asthma," study author Frank Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D, of the Keck School of Medicine and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles told Ivanhoe. "During adolescence, you're at risk for asthma, so it's not something you can start and stop and think you can reduce your risk for asthma later on."

ACAAI: Asthma Linked to Depression And Smoking in Teens

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smokingPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16 -- Teens with asthma are more likely to be depressed and to smoke than their non-asthmatic peers, according to a preliminary analysis of CDC survey data.

About 45% of adolescents with asthma reported feeling sad or hopeless during the previous year, compared with less than 30% of those without asthma (P<.05), reported Bruce G. Bender, Ph.D., of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, at an industry-sponsored symposium held in conjunction with the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting here.

Dr. Bender and colleagues analyzed data from the CDC's 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which includes U.S. students from ninth through 12th grade. The survey results were released in June. The current analysis, not yet published, is the first to mine the data for information about links between asthma, depression, and risky health behavior, Dr. Bender said.

kid with asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 -- Children with asthma are more likely to have exacerbations requiring admission to the pediatric ICU in the late summer and early fall months, reported investigators here.

In a retrospective review of records of children admitted to a pediatric ICU for asthma exacerbations over a nine-year period, 41% of all admissions occurred during August, September, and October, reported Pulin Patel, D.O., of the Children's Hospital of Michigan/Detroit Medical Center, and colleagues.

But those exacerbations don't appear to correlate with the airborne concentrations of allergens prevalent at that time of year, suggesting that other factors may also be involved in triggering asthma exacerbations, the investigators wrote in a poster presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting.

ACAAI: When Inhaled Corticosteroids Fail, What Then?

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asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 -- When inhaled corticosteroids don't adequately control a patient's asthma, the choice of next-best add-on therapy is open to debate.

So specialists did just that at a symposium, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, held in conjunction with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Each argued for one possible add-on therapy -- long-acting beta agonists, immunotherapy, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and plain old aspirin.

New asthma book updates treatment

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asthmaAUSTRALIA - The latest medical and clinical research on treatment and diagnosis of asthma will be made available free of charge to doctors, pharmacists and other professionals who deal with asthma patients, via a new handbook.

The 6th edition of the Asthma Management Handbook, launched today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, updates the previous guidelines issued to Australian medical and health professionals.

ACAAI: Xopenex HFA Data

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xopenex MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Sepracor Inc. today announced that clinical data for XOPENEX HFA(R) (levalbuterol tartrate) Inhalation Aerosol were presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Philadelphia. This study compared safety and tolerability of cumulative doses of XOPENEX HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) MDI (metered-dose inhaler) with those from a racemic albuterol HFA MDI in a group of asthmatic subjects.

The results demonstrated that both (R)-albuterol systemic exposure and consequent beta-mediated adverse events were less following cumulative dosing with XOPENEX HFA when compared to cumulative dosing with racemic albuterol HFA MDI. Racemic albuterol HFA MDI contains both (R)- and (S)-albuterol, while XOPENEX HFA contains only (R)-albuterol.

asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 13 -- Rodent allergies, particularly sensitivity to mouse allergens, are common among inner city children, and may be the primary triggers for moderate-to-severe asthma, reported researchers here.

A retrospective study showed that 31% of inner city children in a small sample were sensitive to mouse allergens, and 18.5% were sensitized to rat allergens, said Philip Hemmers, D.O., of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, .N.Y., and colleagues. 

"This study reinforces the importance of rodents in the allergic evaluation of inner-city children, especially those with moderate-severe asthma," the investigators wrote in a poster presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting.

 

GINAThe Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) today announced the release of a new Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. In a major revision of GINA's 2002 Global Strategy, the new guidelines put the emphasis on asthma control.  With appropriate treatment, most patients should be able to achieve and maintain control of all of the clinical manifestations of asthma, including symptoms, sleep disturbances, limitations of daily activity, impairment of lung function and use of rescue medications.

"The goal of asthma treatment, to achieve and maintain clinical control, can be reached in a majority of patients with a pharmacologic intervention strategy developed in partnership between the patient/family and the doctor" said Professor Paul O'Byrne, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Chair, GINA Executive Committee. "If we implement the management approaches described in the GINA report, there is a real chance of reducing morbidity and mortality associated with asthma.

Majority of Asthma Patients Remain Uncontrolled

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asthma Data Presented at ACAAI Show Patients with Uncontrolled Asthma Cope with Disease Impact on Daily Life

PHILADELPHIA /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of more than 1,300 asthma patients found that the majority of respondents (61 percent) had uncontrolled asthma based on their Asthma Control Test (ACT) score, and nearly one-third (29 percent) of those were not aware that their asthma was uncontrolled. Uncontrolled asthma may place patients at risk for increased symptoms, sudden attacks, hospitalization and even death from asthma.

The survey used the ACT, a clinically validated, patient-administered asthma assessment tool, to evaluate respondents' level of asthma control. The ACT is a five-item questionnaire which gives physicians and patients a simple yet predictive tool they can use to help assess asthma control. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

medical researchPHILADELPHIA -- Adding the long-acting beta2-agonist Serevent (salmeterol) to an inhaled corticosteroid reduces the rate of asthma exacerbations and asthma-related hospitalizations, said researchers here. This was covered in New Options in COPD Therapy post.

Servent in combination with Flovent (fluticasone) was associated in the recent SMART (Salmeterol Multi-center Asthma Research Trial) study with severe asthma exacerbations, and an increased risk of life-threatening adverse events and respiratory deaths among African Americans, in particular. Those findings led the FDA to require a "black box" warning on long-acting beta2 agonists.

‘Asthma Friendly' Toys in Stores Now for the Holidays

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AAFAGotta love this article. "Asthma-friendly" toys. And if the toy doesn't have this logo on it, does it mean it will cause asthma? By the way, I would think that all the toys must be asthma-friendly, not just the ones that have this logo. It looks to me that someone (AAFA) is trying to profit a bit on asthma topic. For me this "asthma-friendly" logo goes to the same line of marketing innovations such as "bio products", "without cholesterol", "asbestos free", etc.

HealthNewsDigest.com, WASHINGTON - Santa Claus can cross one item off his list this holiday: finding toys for children who have asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has already done the work for him by launching a creative new program to certify products as "asthma friendly(R)."

The "asthma friendly" certified toys are already on the shelves at major retailers including Target, Kohl's, Build-a-Bear Workshop, FAO Schwartz, Learning Express and many others. All Santa has to do is look for the asthma friendly(R) certification mark or visit http://www.asthmafriendly.com to find toys that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergic sensitivities. Certified pillows will be available in December, and mattress and pillow protectors/encasements, vacuum cleaners, paints, flooring and other types of items will also be considered for certification next year.

Island has city's lowest rate for severe childhood asthma

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staten island Staten Island has the city's lowest rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations, and last year the rate dropped even lower, the city Health Department said yesterday.

Asthma is a chronic disease that results in inflamed lungs that can easily get irritated, causing episodes of airway tightening and symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

In 2005, 2.5 of every 1,000 Island children were hospitalized with asthma-related problems, down 4 percent from 2004. That is lower than the national rate and compares with 5.4 children out of every 1,000 kids citywide in 2005.

Over the past eight years, the city's rate has declined by 43 percent, but remains higher than the national rate of 3.1 children per 1,000.

New Options in COPD Therapy

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asthmaOnce-daily dosing with a very long-acting beta2-agonist (VLABA) would be a significant convenience and compliance-enhancing advantage leading to improved clinical outcomes in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A once-daily VLABA will pave the way for a fixed-combination inhaler: with an inhaled corticosteroid in asthma and COPD and an inhaled long-acting anticholinergic for use in COPD.

Carmoterol 

Carmoterol is one such new VLABA in clinical development for asthma and COPD, and clinical data on a new metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) formulation were presented at the European Respiratory Society 16th Annual Congress. Professor Peter Barnes led off the discussion addressing the need for such a very long-acting agent. The inhaled route is preferred over the oral route when using VLABA because both routes allow excellent smooth muscle relaxation and bronchodilation, and the mast cells that are involved in bronchoconstriction are positioned close to the airway lumen and accessible to the inhaled route. Therefore, drug delivery via the inhaled route provides a much better bronchoprotective effect than the oral route. An airway that is bronchodilated continuously for 24 hours expends theoretically much less energy than airways subjected to repetitive closure when short-acting agents are used. Prof. Jean Bousquet, from France, presented information on a new, once-daily long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA), carmoterol.

Inflazyme completes recruitment in asthma trial

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inflazymeInflazyme Pharmaceuticals has successfully completed patient recruitment in its phase IIb trial with IPL512,602 for the treatment of moderate to severe asthma.

The phase IIb trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of once daily, oral dosing of IPL512,602 against placebo. Enrolled in the study are those patients with moderate to severe asthma who still experience significant symptoms which are not well controlled despite taking prescribed medications. IPL512,602 represents a new therapeutic approach that focuses on improving asthma control and reducing asthma symptoms.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of IPL512,602 on several measures of asthma control including asthma quality of life. Additional measures of asthma control include the incidence of night-time awakenings, need for rescue medication and asthma symptoms.

Inflazyme said that in a phase IIa study of IPL512,602 the patients who were most affected by their asthma going into the study appeared to derive the most benefit.

source - Pharmaceutical Business Review 

Asthma sufferers picket Nissan

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nissanAsthma sufferers gathered outside Nissan Motor's Tokyo headquarters, demanding compensation for their suffering which, they claim, was caused by diesel gas fumes.

That according to an Agence France-Presse story, which counted about 100 protesters.

Japan began restricting diesel-fueled vehicles in 2003, and since then, asthma action groups have reached settlements with Toyota, Isuzu, Mazda and Mitsubishi. A letter from attorney Takao Nishimura accused Nissan of meeting regulations but being indifferent to the suffering caused before they were enacted.

source - AFP 

postnasal dripQuestion

My patient has both chronic postnasal drip syndrome (PNDS) and asthma, and received only 2 shots of immunotherapy. He experiences asthma exacerbation whenever he is exposed to wood, paper, carpet, or dust. (The immunotherapy shot has since been stopped.) Is PNDS linked to the development of asthma? How long does an allergic reaction to allergy shots last, and can it be managed?

Response from  William W Storms, MD
 
Director, The William Storms Allergy Clinic, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Clinical Professor, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado

This question pertains to a patient with postnasal drainage and asthma who received 2 immunotherapy shots and had asthma exacerbations when exposed to wood, carpet, paper, or dust.

 

Snorkel opens up new world

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medidive snorkelA snorkel built to carry an inhaler could open up a whole new undersea world for asthmatics.

The Australian-developed MediDive Asthma Freedom Snorkel houses the puffer within a silicon chamber attached to the mask, giving asthma sufferers easy access to medication at the press of a button.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show about 10 per cent of the population is affected by asthma.

asthma and copdThe total asthma and COPD population in 2006 is estimated to be 44.8 million and 28.8 million respectively. While the majority of patients are well controlled with current therapies, the remaining unmet needs are twofold: first, to find better options for the 1.7 million patients with severe asthma; second, to identify effective anti-inflammatory drugs in COPD.

Scope

  • Discussion and quantification of the patient potential and segmentation in both Asthma and COPD
  • Detailed overview and assessment of drugs in mid-to late stage clinical development, highlighting recent clinical trial results
  • Assessment of the remaining unmet clinical needs in both asthma and COPD, analyzing the potential of new targeted therapies
  • Ten year indication-based sales forecast to 2015 for major Phase III to recently launched drugs

asthmaThis study by Marceau and colleagues reviewed the treatment adherence as well as the effectiveness of combination therapy among adults with asthma. The study notes that the current international, Canadian, and US asthma treatment guidelines, including the Global Initiative for Asthma, call for severity-based management of asthma, employing both symptoms and pulmonary function testing.

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines call for the addition of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) to inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) when asthma is not well controlled using ICSs alone. The authors noted that both LABAs and ICSs have a complementary effect, addressing both bronchoconstriction and underlying airway inflammation. Both LABAs and ICSs may be given either concurrently (ie, with 2 separate inhalers) or in combination (ie, both medications in the same inhaler).

Carpets in workplace linked to adult asthma risk

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office carpetNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being exposed to certain types of surface materials at work appears to increase adults' risk of developing asthma, a new study shows.

"These findings underline the need to consider the health aspects of materials used in floor, wall, and other indoor surfaces," Dr. Jouni J. K. Jaakkola of the University of Helsinki in Finland and colleagues conclude in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

A number of materials used in furnishing indoor environments may emit pollutants with the capacity to irritate the airways, the researchers note. While studies have linked certain materials, pollutants and even renovations to asthma in children, they add, there have been no reports on how such exposure might affect adults' asthma risk.

Home Remedies and Prevention for Cold, Flu and Allergy

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flu cold and allergyI am posting just an extract from Cold, Flu, and Allergy Guide which is related to home remedies for cold, flu and allergy:

Get Extra Bed Rest

Pluses: You'll recuperate faster and protect others from your germs.

Minuses:
Your schedule will have to change and you may miss a day or two of work.

Drink Extra Water

Uses: Keeps mucus membranes moist and can help control cough. Juices are OK, too, but skip drinks with caffeine.

Pluses: Cheap and easy.

Minuses: You'll spend more time in the bathroom.

Lung DCs Legitimate Targets For Treating Asthma

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allergic asthmaAllergic asthma is caused by an unwanted immune response known as a Th2 cell response. Most treatments for asthma currently target this Th2 cell response and its downstream effects. However, immune cells known as dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial activators of all T cell responses, including the Th2 cell response in asthma, so therapies that target DC function in the airways might represent a new way to treat individuals with allergic asthma.

Now, in a study appearing in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Bart Lambrecht and colleagues from Erasmus University, The Netherlands, have shown that inhalation of the immunosuppressive drug FTY720 suppresses the symptoms of allergic asthma in a mouse model of the disease.

Inhalation of FTY720 suppressed the allergic Th2 cell response in the lungs by preventing lung DCs from leaving the lungs and going to the site at which they activate the allergic Th2 cell response. This demonstration that targeting lung DCs can suppress allergic asthma in mice might open new avenues of research for the development of drugs that target DC function to treat individuals with allergic asthma.

source 

Chemicals put hairdressers' careers on line

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hairdresserTens of thousands of hairdressers have a debilitating and career-threatening skin disease caused by the chemicals used in their job.

Junior hairdressers, who are usually assigned to work such as washing clients' hair, are most at risk, with up to 35 per cent developing occupational-contact dermatitis in the first two years of work.

The disease can cause skin to redden, swell, blister, flake, crack and itch.

Skin specialist Rosemary Nixon, of the Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, in Melbourne, said the dermatitis was affecting tens of thousands of hairdressers and barbers.

NY City asthma effort works

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asthma effectsThe number of children with emergency asthma attacks at the city's public hospitals dropped nearly 20 percent following a two-year monitoring campaign waged by the Bloomberg administration, The Post has learned.

The "asthma-management plan" includes comprehensive medical treatment of asthmatic kids and a one-page primer given to parents to help track their children's conditions, said city Health and Hospitals Corp. President Alan Aviles.

The result: 3,610 fewer pediatric emergency visits for asthma in 2005 compared to 2003 - a drop of 19 percent.

And there were 800 fewer pediatric hospital admissions related to asthma, HHC officials said - a 21 percent reduction.

 

childhood asthmaThis article summary is difficult to write, as it is likely one of the last articles that we will see published by Dr. Gail Shapiro, whose recent untimely death is a great loss for the medical community. She had a longstanding interest in childhood asthma and published this article to call attention to some of the factors that may be associated with persistent wheezing in young asthmatics who intermittently wheeze during their early years.

Shapiro noted that the level of bronchial hyperreactivity correlated with the persistence of wheezing in some studies that have tried to identify risk factors for persistent asthma. In addition, other features suggesting an increased risk of asthma persistence have included female gender, tobacco smoke exposure, parental history of asthma, and features of atopic disease (including rhinitis, eczema, and eosinophilia). She stated that the early expression of bronchial reactivity (eg, wheezing and coughing during viral infections) is a risk factor for persistent wheezing through childhood, with the earlier onset showing higher risk for increased disease severity compared with a later onset.