New source of antibody treatment for asthma discovered

For the 18.7 million Americans who suffer from asthma symptoms every day, handling their respiratory problems can often prove difficult.

For the 18.7 million Americans who suffer from asthma symptoms every day, handling their respiratory problems can often prove difficult. While taking Singulair or another prescribed medication is typically the most common way to relieve side effects of the condition, new research indicates that a more efficient form of treatment will soon be on its way. 

Doctors from St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University have been testing a new antibody that specifically works to alleviate inflammation in the lungs and provide improvement to patient's overall quality of life. For many people with severe asthma, treatment is usually provided through inhaled corticosteroids or strong steroid-based medications that can tend to provoke side effects such as high blood pressure, mood changes or muscle weakness. The testing of the new antibody treatment method could be able to reduce the number of stressful symptoms endured by individuals with asthma using inhaled steroids.

Using 31 patients from all across Canada, the researchers spent 12 weeks monitoring how the antibody was able to boost relief experiences. A reduction of baseline inflammation within the lungs was the biggest trait provided by the antibody, and its ability to block specific proteins in the lungs was able to better defend the participants against inhaled allergens better than the placebo given to the control groups.

One of the more beneficial aspects of the study is the potential vast range this source of treatment can provide for all those with breathing restrictions. While antibody usage is normally reserved for those with severe asthma symptoms, this particular form of therapy can also be used by those who only experience mild asthma side effects as well. Dr. Paul O'Byrne, a professor with the department of medicine at McMaster University and lead contributor to the study, stressed the importance of how blocking the production of proteins that promote inflammation might be huge step forward in the healing process of asthma.

"It was known that the epithelial cells which line the airways in the lungs produce a protein called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) that causes inflammation. This study, for the first time, proved that these cells continually produce this protein in humans with asthma," O'Byrne said in a statement. "While we studied patients with allergic asthma, this research opens the door for the development of new treatments not only for this population, but for those diagnosed with severe asthma as well."

Conventional treatment of asthma
The current realms of asthma relief are primarily managing acute attacks and taking long-term preventative actions. Everything from avoiding tobacco usage, frequent exercise to cleaning your home from mold can help improve your condition. Singulair is another way to reduce asthma triggers, and you can always consult with your doctor to see if a prescription will improve your condition.