As part of the Haydn’s Wish commitment to improving knowledge about asthma and allergies, your donations have contributed to new research from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).
The latest research has shown that a popular inhaler used as first-line treatment for asthma attacks could be less effective or may even make the condition worse for some children carrying a particular gene change.
The researchers’ concerns follow the recent publication of the first national study of asthma deaths in the UK which showed that some asthma patients are dying because of complacency among both medical staff and patients.
BSMS experts are planning new trials this autumn which they believe will provide further evidence to support the idea of providing personalised medicine to improve treatment.
Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay, Chair of Paediatrics at BSMS and heading the research, said: “Both asthma ‘reliever’ and ‘controller’ medicines may not work well in a proportion of children because the child’s genetic make-up makes the medicine less effective. This is particularly important in children with allergies, as the asthma ‘reliever’ medicine is often the first line of defence for children experiencing wheeze as part of an allergic reaction, and these children could get rapidly unwell if the ‘reliever’ does not work properly at the time of an acute allergic reaction. It is also important to ensure that asthma ‘controller’ medicines are effective in a child with both asthma and allergy, as poor asthma control from use of an ineffective ‘controller’ makes a child more vulnerable to severe asthma attacks following allergen exposure.
“A simple test can determine whether a child carries the gene change and identify those who might benefit from a switch to an alternative, more effective medicine.”