Touching Lives - September 2014
Tackling asthma: a new approach
When asthma is well managed children can lead a full and active life but researchers have found that a commonly prescribed medicine, called salmeterol, may offer little benefit to some of those taking it. They have discovered that a person’s genetic make-up can affect their response to the drug. With funding from Action researchers will investigate if using a simple genetic test and prescribing medicine accordingly leads to improved quality of life for sufferers.
This new approach is known as ‘personalised therapy’ and could help people with asthma to better control their symptoms. Children with poorly controlled asthma can struggle to participate in playground games and sports. They may also miss school and fall behind in their work, leading to problems with low self-esteem.
Lead researcher Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton (pictured here) says: “Our ultimate aim is to make the most of the treatments we’ve already got for asthma, so children get the medicines that suit them best – and they can enjoy the best possible quality of life.”
This project is supported by a generous donation from the Ward Family Charitable Trust.