World Asthma Day (WAD) takes place each year on the first Tuesday in May. The annual event, organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), raises asthma awareness and care around the world. Continuing last year’s positive theme, the WAD 2012 theme is “You Can Control Your Asthma”. The campaign emphasizes asthma control as described in the latest version of the GINA guideline documents . Asthma control is also the focus of GINA’s Asthma Control Challenge, a five-year campaign to reduce asthma hospitalizations worldwide by fifty percent.
iSonea Limited is an emerging medical technology company developing innovative, non-invasive devices and mobile health apps to improve the management of chronic, costly respiratory disorders such as asthma and COPD. The company has developed proprietary respiratory acoustic technologies that enable the capture, storage and objective analysis of respiratory sounds and without relying on patient assistance.
The emerging field of epigenetics has added a new dimension to the “nature versus nurture” debate, by which researchers have historically attempted to determine whether a characteristic was influenced by genes or environment. Increasingly, it appears that environmental influences can affect gene expression, meaning that “nature” and “nurture” are inextricable from one another to an even greater extent than previously understood.
Users of Primatene Mist, the only over-the-counter treatment for acute symptoms of asthma, will need to find an alternative as of December 31, 2011. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the medication will no longer be available because it uses chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant agent , and CFCs have long been known to deplete Earth’s ozone layer.
Inhaled corticosteroids are used by millions of asthma patients every day. However, as with all treatments to control asthma, there is marked patient-to-patient variability in the response to treatment. New research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has identified a genetic variant associated with the response to inhaled corticosteroids . Investigators have found that asthma patients who have two copies of a specific gene variant responded only one-third as well to steroid inhalers as those with two copies of the regular gene.