COPD Research Study at Leicester University – New Hope for FutureMay 22nd, 2011 by Sharon O'Hara
It is about time! The Leicester
University researcher, Prof Chris
Brightling, Wellcome Senior Research
Fellow is leading a team on a five year EU quest to –
ultimately – individualize the COPDer treatment. Currently,
we’re pretty much given the same inhalers to help open our airways
for better breathing and most COPD inhalers were developed for
asthma patients – quite different from
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (COPD)
I’ve taken many different inhalers over the years, none worked well – for me – as my present three inhalers.
For example, I’ve been on the same inhalers about five years – nothing newer or better has been developed and approved for use in the United States. The last new inhaler I’ve taken for COPD was initially an incredible boost to my lungs. The 24-hour inhaler, Spiriva, recommended to take in the morning was so powerful for me I took it at night and every morning was able to exercise three hours or so before breakfast and taking my other inhalers. Not everyone has the same reaction and some don’t take it for various reasons – we’re all different. This is the first time we’ve had research into our differences and I applaud and thank them on behalf of future COPDers.
These days I take it in the morning as time and COPD march on.
“A Leicester University researcher is leading an international team in the development of a tool to help tailor the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Prof Chris Brightling, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at Leicester University and an honorary consultant based at Glenfield Hospital, is spearheading the five-year EU project, dubbed AirPROM.
According to Leicester University, the project will create computed and physical models of the whole airways system, to help scientists and doctors predict how patients might react to different treatments.
Damaged, inflamed or obstructed airways are common in people with COPD and asthma, which makes breathing difficult. The current methods to detect and treat these conditions do not always consider individual differences in the airways that make each person unique. As a consequence, people with these conditions may not receive the most effective treatment.
While scientists are working on more advanced, targeted approaches to treatment, they have been unable to match these treatments to the right patients and explain the reasons behind this.
The AirPROM research team will make a computed model of the cells in an airway and a physical model of the airways, to assess how air flows through the lungs and why it becomes obstructed in people with asthma and COPD.
By using these unique models, along with existing data from tests that measure lung capacity and highly detailed X-rays, known as CT scans, the scientists will be able test new therapies, which will enable them to tailor treatments to the individual.
The aim is to use this information to generate an extensive database that will be able to link the characteristics of different airways to a particular treatment in the future, helping health professionals provide personalized treatment for people with COPD and asthma.
These tools will also help scientists predict how the diseases will progress and the effect on the airways, to help monitor the future risk to patients.
Breda Flood, a patient with asthma and board member of European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association, said: ‘This new model will help us to visualize activity in our lungs and see how our illness affects our breathing. By gaining an insight into how specific treatments will work, patients will have a better understanding of how to manage their condition in the future.’”
Interesting – We have EFFORTS (Emphysema Foundation For
Our Right To Survive): http://www.emphysema.net and Alpha 1,
the inherited type of COPD: http://www.alpha-1foundation.org/
The United States does not have a ‘Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association’ that I know about.
Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara
New Bird at the Feeder – Yesterday – New Hope for COPDers – Today
Tags: AirPROM., airways, alpha 1, asthma, COPD, CT scans, EFFORTS, European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association, Glenfield Hospital, health porofessionals, Leicester University, Prof Chris Brightling, Research, scientists, Spiriva, therapies, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, X-rays