Asthma UK community forum

Looking for a scientiic advancement!

Hi, i'm writing an essay on severe acute asthma, My mum was diagnosed a few years back, so I chose the topic so I could find out more about it.

I've almost finished it, I just need a technological scientific advancement

I've written about Buteyko Breathing Methods and was going to write about NIV, (non-invasive ventilation) however, i've been finding that in some texts it says it shouldnt be used in asthma, and in others it says it can. I've been on the BTS site, and havent found out either way.

I'm pulling my hair out!

Other than variations of drugs, and possibly the development of new delivery methods (inhaler shapes), I really cant find anything. I could write about these, so its no problem. I was just wondering if anyone could suggest something i could carry out research on and be a bit different.

Thanks for reading this!

3 Replies

NIV is sometimes used in severe acute attacks (as is the invasive ventilation, as you probably know), but not in everyone and not on every occasion. I think it may depend upon your consultant to a certain extent as well as clinical features. I'm not sure if there's a specific protocol, but perhaps one of the medical-types here will be able to tell you better about this.

As far as looking for a scientific advancement goes, many of us here are waiting for one too! I guess you could maybe look at the Omalizumab (Xolair) injections. It can be difficult to get funding for this drug depending on where you live I think, and it doesn't help all - it's primary target is for severe asthmatics with a strong allergic element, and before treatment you have to have your IgE levels checked and have a certain level of them in your blood to qualify.

Dunno if this is of any help, but thought I'd put in my twopence worth.



Nebulisers? - lots of these, some of the more recent ones are quite nifty little things (thinking of my pet favourite, the Omron U22, noiseless and incredibly light) - I imagine the technology used in these things is quite interesting and can certainly provide a significant impact in the life of an asthmatic who needs to carry a neb with them (weight to carry, convenience, doesn't attract so much attention etc).

There was an inhaler brought out recently which addressed quite a few issues in patient education for inhaler use, it had a special indicator to show if the dose had been taken correctly, a dose counter, and had a special ""taste"" added to the inhaler substance to allow the patient to know when they had had their dose. Can't for the life of me remember its name at the moment though....sorry, useful, aren't I...

Hope this helps in some small way.


It’s a complex subject, but I believe that epigenetics hold the key to unlocking the door to a cure for asthma.

For a number of years I have had an enquiring interest in immunology and more specifically T-cell regulation of the immune system. T-cells are responsible for orchestrating all immunological responses.

Just recently I have been reading a seven page article in Scientific American (Oct 06) which supports this view. The article is titled ‘Peacekeepers of the Immune System’.

Whilst the article is not directly related to asthma, T-cell regulation (or dis-regulation when it does not function correctly) is as important to asthma as it is any other immunological disease/condition.

It is recognised that many asthmatics have immune system dysfunction/dis-regulation which if the regulatory T-cells could be manipulated may well lead to a cure.

The article published in S.A. primarily describes the benefits to autoimmune conditions and organ rejection, but if you explore below the surface of the article you will discover that the parallels are very striking. I am sure the medics on here will agree with my observations.

The full title of the article is titled; Peacekeepers of the Immune System – Regulatory T cells, only recently proven to exist, keep the body’s defences from attacking the body itself. Manipulations of these cells could offer new treatments for conditions ranging from diabetes to organ rejection.

By Zoltan Fehevari & Shimon Sakaguchi., p35-41.

Anyone interested in more info on this article, please send me a pm.



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