Testing and subsequent treatment protect newborns from asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the human respiratory system that is common around the world. Australian scientists have now unveiled a radical approach to treating children of expectant mothers with asthma. Carrying out a specific test for such mothers can therefore lead to effective treatment of the disease.
The University of Newcastle scientists found that testing pregnant women can reliably protect their offspring from asthma. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Participants adjust asthma medication to their nitric oxide levels
Half of the women participating in the current study adjusted their asthma medication to their nitrogen monoxide levels after a test, the experts explain. These levels were previously determined through a simple routine breath test. The other half of the participants were treated according to their own self-assessment of the asthma symptoms.
Dosage of asthma medication was customized
Nitric oxide is a so-called indicator of pneumonia and the severity of asthma, the researchers explain. With this important biomarker, the dosage of inhaled corticosteroids (a common asthma medication) was then adjusted for each expectant mother.
Babies have been medically monitored for six years
The babies of the participating mothers were medically monitored for the first six years of their lives. The results found look extremely promising, the authors say.
Treatment significantly reduces asthma in newborns
Among the babies of women whose medication was determined solely by self-reported symptoms, 40 percent developed an asthma disease, the scientists explain. This value was reduced to 20 percent by participating in the test and then adjusting the nitric oxide status. There were also fewer cases of wheezing and recurrent lung infections in this group, the scientists add.
Asthma diseases persist for life
Asthma is a chronic disease and has lifelong effects, the authors explain. While some people are able to control their asthma, the disease persists forever. The disease affects, for example, the ability to exercise and reduces physical resilience. This effect can in turn lead to social problems for children and parents, the doctors add.
Breakthrough breakthrough in the treatment of asthma?
The finding found could have a massive impact on the way asthma is treated in the future. The pioneering research hopes for effective complementary treatment for millions of asthmatics around the world, the authors say. (as)