A new study has identified ways to reduce the factors that lead to an asthma attack.
The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that the likelihood of having an asthma attack can be reduced if we can control the two most significant biological responses that lead to an attack.
Normally humans have few mucus-producing cells but asthma sufferers have an increased number of these cells in the lining of the tubes that lead to the lungs.
Asthmatics also have an abnormal amount of smooth muscle surrounding the airway tubes. Even the slightest stimulus can cause these to contract.
A specific channel in the body controls muscle contraction and secretion in the airways. These are two major factors that lead to an asthma attack. The new study found that if the channel was blocked, it could reduce these two symptoms of asthma.
Researchers will now begin testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments to see if they can successfully block the channel.