Asthma ‘genes’ discovered

New findings could lead to new drugs to combat asthma

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New genetic links in people who suffer from asthma have been discovered by scientists from Imperial College London.

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Scientists carried out over 500,000 tests on the genes of 10,000 children and adults with asthma and 16,000 non-asthmatics.

Although links were discovered, experts have said that gene testing won’t predict who may develop asthma.

It’s still not fully understood why people develop asthma, but scientists suspect it’s a mixture of genetic and environmental factors that cause the condition.

“This unique study helps us to understand in much more detail how the genetic side of things works,” explained Leanne Metcalf, from Asthma UK.

“Importantly, it’s also shown that genetic testing doesn’t help to predict who is susceptible to developing asthma, meaning that early diagnosis and intervention, and effective treatment for everyone who is affected by asthma, are even more vital.

“However the most exciting part is that these results will now help to ensure that scientists are able to focus their research on the most influential targets for asthma, with the important long-term aim of preventing a condition which is responsible for the deaths of three people every day,” said Leanne.

Recently, we reported that children with asthma are at greater risk of being admitted to hospital in September.

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If your child has asthma and you’d like info to help manage the condition, talk to your GP about getting a new advice kit called My Asthma, which Asthma UK will be releasing on September 27.

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