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Genetic discoveries offer new asthma hope

Friday December 14th, 2018

British researchers have found new genetic variants associated with severe asthma, leading to hope of new treatments to control mucus, it has been announced.

The variants are linked to the risk of developing moderate-severe asthma and control the production of mucins, according to the Midlands-based researchers.

The study compared genes from 10,000 patients with asthma with 50,000 people with healthy lungs.

The researchers at the universities of Nottingham and Leicester published their findings in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

They identified three new genetic “points of interest” together with 21 previously reported genetic variants. The three new genetic variants relate to mucin production, allergy and autoimmune diseases.

They say they also confirmed the role of multiple genetic variants in T2 inflammation. These are already the targets of new treatments.

Researcher Professor Ian Sayers, from Nottingham, said: “We know environmental factors can trigger the condition but genetic predisposition, we believe, also plays a significant role. This is why genetic research is so important.

“If we can identify genes that cause the disease, we may eventually be able to improve treatment or even find a cure.”

Moderate-to-severe asthma in individuals of European ancestry: a genome-wide association study. Lancet Respiratory Medicine 11 December 2018

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(18)30389-8/fulltext

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Genetics | Respiratory | UK News

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