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Genetic breakthrough could lead to new asthma treatments

Published on 23/09/2010
More effective treatments for childhood asthma could soon be available to those with private medical cover following new research.

An international study, which looked at the DNA of more than 26,000 people worldwide, has identified seven genetic variants that appear to influence the susceptibility of children to asthma.

One of the key findings of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is that the allergic reactions suffered by those with asthma are actually a symptom of the condition rather than the cause as previously thought.

Scientist now have a better understanding of where to focus their research in finding a cure for the illness, raising prospects of new and improved treatments in years to come.

Professor William Cookson, director of respiratory sciences at Imperial College London, which co-ordinated the study, said: "One of the problems with asthma research has been choosing where to intervene in the disease pathways.

"Our study now highlights targets for effective asthma therapies, and suggests that therapies against these targets will be of use to large numbers of asthmatics in the population. "

One in seven children in the UK suffers from asthma.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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