Friday November 16, 2018

Asthma In Childhood Can Trigger COPD Later: Lancet

Interventions to maximise lung growth in early childhood might modify the risk of COPD in older age, they noted

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Asthma
Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating. Wikimedia Commons
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While smoking remains the biggest risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), childhood illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis and eczema also amplify the disease, say researchers.

Three-quarters of COPD cases have their origins in poor lung function pathways beginning in childhood, according to a cohort study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

Asthma can cause severe damage to one’s lungs. VOA

A second study in the journal suggests that there could be a window of opportunity during childhood to reduce the risk of poor lung function in later life.

“These findings highlight the importance of preventing both early life adverse exposures that could lead to poorer lung growth and adult risk factors contributing to accelerated lung decline,” says Professor Shyamali Dharmage from School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia. COPD is expected to be the third-largest cause of death globally by 2030. “It is important that we identify its key causes so that this burden can be reduced,” Dharmage added.

Also Read: Smoking during pregnancy linked to asthma severity in kids

Childhood asthma can trigger COPD in later life. IANS

Reduction of maternal smoke exposure and personal smoking and promotion of immunisation are identified as public health targets to prevent poor lung function pathways.

“Doctors and patients with asthma should be made aware of the potential long-term implications of non-optimal asthma control throughout life, and this should be investigated in future research,” the study authors noted. In the first study, 2,438 participants from the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (Australia) were tracked from childhood to the age of 53.

In the second study, 2,632 participants were tracked from birth to 24 years old and their lung function was measured. In the second study, the authors found that around three-quarters of infants aged one to six months with poor lung function improved throughout their childhood, indicating a window of opportunity to increase lung function and potentially reduce risk of COPD in later life.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Earlier smoking was the most common cause of COPD. Pixabay

Interventions to maximise lung growth in early childhood might modify the risk of COPD in older age, they noted. IANS

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A Comprehensive Study Of Parasitic Worms Release Numerous Anwers

The analysis found almost a million new genes that had not been seen before, belonging to thousands of new gene families, and identified many new potential drug targets and drugs.

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parasitic Worm
A giant 25m worm representing the parasitic worm of schistosomiasis, that causes significant suffering and death to thousands of people around the world, is pictured on the Lake Leman on the occasion of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit, in Geneva, Switzerland. VOA

The largest study to date of the genetic makeup of parasitic worms has found hundreds of new clues about how they invade the human body, evade its immune system and cause disease.

The results point to potential de-worming treatments to help fight some of the most neglected tropical diseases — including river blindness, schistosomiasis and hookworm disease — which affect around a billion people worldwide.

“Parasitic worms are some of our oldest foes and have evolved over millions of years to be expert manipulators of the human immune system,” said Makedonka Mitreva of Washington University’s McDonnell Genome Institute, who co-led the work with colleagues from Britain’s Wellcome Sanger Institute and Edinburgh University.

parasitic Worm
World’s longest tapeworm. wikimedia

She said the results of this study would lead to both a deeper knowledge of the biology of parasites and a better understanding of how human immune systems can be harnessed or controlled.

Parasitic worm infections can last many years and can cause severe pain, physical disabilities, retarded development in children and social stigma linked to deformity.

Current medicines to combat them — including drugs made by Sanofi, GSK and Johnson & Johnson — can be moderately effective and are often donated by drugmakers or sold at reduced prices to those who need them. But the spectrum of drugs to treat worm infections is still limited.

To try to improve the potential drug pipeline and to understand how worms invade and take up residence inside humans and other animals, the research team compared the genomes of 81 species of roundworms and flatworms, including 45 that had never previously had their genomes sequenced.

parasitic Worm
How gut microbiota can aid in early diagnosis of liver cancer.

The analysis found almost a million new genes that had not been seen before, belonging to thousands of new gene families, and identified many new potential drug targets and drugs.

Also Read: Genes Tied To Obesity May Lower Risk Of Diabetes

“We focused our search by looking at existing drugs for human illnesses,” said the Sanger Institute’s Avril Coghlan, who worked on the team. She said this offered a possible fast-track route “to pinpointing existing drugs that could be repurposed for deworming.”

The study’s findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics. (VOA)