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COPD Research Study at Leicester University – New Hope for Future

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): and  Alpha 1, the inherited type of COPD:

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

2 thoughts on “COPD Research Study at Leicester University – New Hope for Future

  1. Good site Roar-thanks!

    One thing they don’t mention is spirometry testing for early detection of COPD (I can’t speak for the asthma component though I may have it now as well as the other stuff)

    Most doctors here don’t test their patients for early detection COPD apparently believing their patients would not change circumstances -smoking for example- even knowing they were already on the relentless COPD road.

    As a person knowing where COPD can lead I believe educating the patient will cause many if not most, to make whatever changes necessary to avoid the further development of COPD. By that I mean meeting and speaking with those of us with advanced COPD, let them meet us, then decide their course of action or non action.

    Another thing should be emphasis on exercise beyond our shortness of breath. Being unable to breath we tend to stop moving. The less we move the more we become unable to move as our muscles erode and fade away. Since muscle utilizes oxygen better than flab, we become a downward and depressing spiral of not being able to breath. We must do MORE, not less moving and our doctors should be the ones telling us.

    My swim instructor says muscle has memory and until my last trip to Norway in 1997, I was muscled and fit – all my life and its coming back fast but not fast enough to develop the muscling around my bone on bone left hip to protect it and enable me to pedal a full rotation on my left leg.

    Luckily I’ve got -today’s mail- a “Pedal Pendulum” for the Lepus delta trike to shorten the radius pedal swing for my left leg enough to allow the right leg to catch and do its rotation.

    Giving up is not an option. I’m doing my own study and betting that I will get stronger and lose the weight gained after stopping a forty year smoking habit as the days pass riding a recumbent trike across America.

    That I will not only finish a ride I once expected to make with the American Lung Association’s Big Ride Across America (Seattle to Washington D.C.) I will come home ready to work even harder in the pool with Marilyn’s expert instruction.

    More later…thanks again, Roar! Sharon

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