Lung and Blood Institute

Beerse, Belgium

Lung and Blood Institute

Beerse, Belgium

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News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects over 20 million Americans, including 6 million children. It is a lung disorder in which the bronchioles, the inner lining of the small breathing tubes of the lungs, become inflamed and swollen. The muscles in the walls of the bronchioles may spasm, or narrow, causing symptoms of asthma which include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing. Individuals with mild asthma may not even be aware they have it, as wheezing may only be audible with a stethoscope if present at all. Rather than being a distinct clinical entity, asthma is now considered to represent overlapping syndromes with similar clinical features. Asthma may develop at any age, but most commonly occurs in early childhood, or mid-adulthood. Asthma that presents in childhood typically responds well to appropriate treatment and is often outgrown with time. Many cases that occur in adulthood respond well to treatment, but remain chronic. There is a strong genetic component to asthma, as approximately 40% of children who have asthmatic parents will develop asthma. Asthma also varies by ethnicity; for example, in 2006, asthma prevalence was found to be 20.1% higher in African Americans than in whites. Most patients with asthma, approximately 70%, have allergic disease. Most children with asthma have allergies that cause or significantly aggravate their asthma. As with many medical conditions, a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure plays a role in the development of asthma. Identification and avoidance of specific asthma triggers is imperative to help achieve optimal control of asthma. The most common environmental asthma triggers are allergens (inhalants such as house dust mites, pollens, molds, and animal dander), viral respiratory infections, exercise, and cigarette smoke. Other triggers may include cold air, humidity, occupational exposures, menses, emotional stress, pollutants, sulfite sensitivity, and ingestion of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. There are a variety of medical conditions that can mimic asthma. These conditions must be considered in a patient who continues to experience symptoms despite being on optimal medical treatment for asthma. They include acid reflux or GERD, habit cough, vocal cord dysfunction (or paradoxical vocal cord movement), upper airway obstruction, foreign body aspiration, Churg-Strauss Vasculitis, Chronic Eosinophilic Pneumonia, Hyper-eosinophilic Syndrome, ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, COPD, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, post-viral tussive syndrome and bronchiectasis. Optimal asthma control is often difficult to achieve until co-morbid (or co-existing) medical conditions have been properly addressed and managed. Co-morbid conditions to consider in the asthmatic patient include environmental allergic disease, chronic sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, tobacco abuse, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, corticosteroid resistance, occupational exposures, obesity, and Type II diabetes mellitus. Asthma is usually suspected when the characteristic symptoms occur, especially at nighttime, with exercise, with colds or with allergy flare-ups. Definitive diagnosis and optimal treatment of each individual case requires not only periodic exams, but also measurements of lung function, starting by five or six years of age. This is done by using spirometry which is a type of lung test that measures the amount and rate of air flow from the lungs. Correlation of the results of a patient’s spirometry test with their clinical symptoms helps the physician decide whether or not a patient’s asthma is under optimal control and whether or not a patient’s medications should be increased, decreased or left unchanged. Allergy testing is typically performed as part of the initial evaluation of an individual with asthma since allergies are a trigger in up to 85% of individuals with asthma. Chest x-rays, blood work, and other tests are rarely needed for the diagnosis and management of asthma, unless other medical problems are suspected. Optimal management of asthma begins with utilizing the evidence-based NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) asthma guidelines to stage the patient’s asthma based on impairment and severity. Treatment is then arranged with medications as appropriate to the level of disease. The goal of treatment is to develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan for the patient’s asthma that includes appropriate medical therapy, minimizes exposure to environmental triggers, treats underlying co-morbid conditions as discussed above, and patient education about their condition. The most common reason that patients experience suboptimal control of their asthma is that they do not take their medications as prescribed. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance, poor device technique, lack of understanding of their disease condition, and/or socio-economic factors. There are three basic categories of asthma medications- the first is bronchodilators, which temporarily relieve symptoms by relaxing constricted bronchial tubes. These are typically used only when needed. The second is anti-inflammatory medications, which prevent or heal the inflammation inside the bronchial tubes. These are generally used every day, even when the patient feels well. The final category includes medicines that modify the immune system to try to prevent asthma symptoms. Depending on the patient’s history and the results of any allergy testing, specific measures may be recommended to help the patient minimize exposure to their asthma triggers, allergic or otherwise. This will help reduce the amount of medication needed to control the patient’s asthma. Also, allergy immunotherapy injections are the most effective long-term preventative strategy for allergy treatment. For patients with allergy-induced asthma desensitization with immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) can dramatically reduce allergy-induced symptoms and decrease the amount of medications necessary to control asthma. How Your Local Allergy Partners Physician Can Help Your Allergy Partners physician can help determine the cause of your asthma by combining a thorough medical history and physical examination with appropriate diagnostic testing. Allergy Partners’ physicians can help with administration of allergy immunotherapy when appropriate. They are also experts in the administration of Xolair. Allergy Partners’ physicians, nurses and asthma educators are dedicated to teaching patients about their asthma and asthma medications (including device technique), which greatly decreases the rate of medical non-compliance and inappropriate medication usage. Allergy Partners’ ongoing dedication to patient education is demonstrated by multiple useful tools on the Allergy Partners website, including a medical conditions library, instructional videos on proper medication device technique, pollen counts and blog.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects over 20 million Americans, including 6 million children. It is a lung disorder in which the bronchioles, the inner lining of the small breathing tubes of the lungs, become inflamed and swollen. The muscles in the walls of the bronchioles may spasm, or narrow, causing symptoms of asthma which include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing. Individuals with mild asthma may not even be aware they have it, as wheezing may only be audible with a stethoscope if present at all. Rather than being a distinct clinical entity, asthma is now considered to represent overlapping syndromes with similar clinical features. Asthma may develop at any age, but most commonly occurs in early childhood, or mid-adulthood. Asthma that presents in childhood typically responds well to appropriate treatment and is often outgrown with time. Many cases that occur in adulthood respond well to treatment, but remain chronic. There is a strong genetic component to asthma, as approximately 40% of children who have asthmatic parents will develop asthma. Asthma also varies by ethnicity; for example, in 2006, asthma prevalence was found to be 20.1% higher in African Americans than in whites. Most patients with asthma, approximately 70%, have allergic disease. Most children with asthma have allergies that cause or significantly aggravate their asthma. As with many medical conditions, a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure plays a role in the development of asthma. Identification and avoidance of specific asthma triggers is imperative to help achieve optimal control of asthma. The most common environmental asthma triggers are allergens (inhalants such as house dust mites, pollens, molds, and animal dander), viral respiratory infections, exercise, and cigarette smoke. Other triggers may include cold air, humidity, occupational exposures, menses, emotional stress, pollutants, sulfite sensitivity, and ingestion of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. There are a variety of medical conditions that can mimic asthma. These conditions must be considered in a patient who continues to experience symptoms despite being on optimal medical treatment for asthma. They include acid reflux or GERD, habit cough, vocal cord dysfunction (or paradoxical vocal cord movement), upper airway obstruction, foreign body aspiration, Churg-Strauss Vasculitis, Chronic Eosinophilic Pneumonia, Hyper-eosinophilic Syndrome, ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, COPD, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, post-viral tussive syndrome and bronchiectasis. Optimal asthma control is often difficult to achieve until co-morbid (or co-existing) medical conditions have been properly addressed and managed. Co-morbid conditions to consider in the asthmatic patient include environmental allergic disease, chronic sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, tobacco abuse, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, corticosteroid resistance, occupational exposures, obesity, and Type II diabetes mellitus. Asthma is usually suspected when the characteristic symptoms occur, especially at nighttime, with exercise, with colds or with allergy flare-ups. Definitive diagnosis and optimal treatment of each individual case requires not only periodic exams, but also measurements of lung function, starting by five or six years of age. This is done by using spirometry which is a type of lung test that measures the amount and rate of air flow from the lungs. Correlation of the results of a patient’s spirometry test with their clinical symptoms helps the physician decide whether or not a patient’s asthma is under optimal control and whether or not a patient’s medications should be increased, decreased or left unchanged. Allergy testing is typically performed as part of the initial evaluation of an individual with asthma since allergies are a trigger in up to 85% of individuals with asthma. Chest x-rays, blood work, and other tests are rarely needed for the diagnosis and management of asthma, unless other medical problems are suspected. Optimal management of asthma begins with utilizing the evidence-based NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) asthma guidelines to stage the patient’s asthma based on impairment and severity. Treatment is then arranged with medications as appropriate to the level of disease. The goal of treatment is to develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan for the patient’s asthma that includes appropriate medical therapy, minimizes exposure to environmental triggers, treats underlying co-morbid conditions as discussed above, and patient education about their condition. The most common reason that patients experience suboptimal control of their asthma is that they do not take their medications as prescribed. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance, poor device technique, lack of understanding of their disease condition, and/or socio-economic factors. There are three basic categories of asthma medications- the first is bronchodilators, which temporarily relieve symptoms by relaxing constricted bronchial tubes. These are typically used only when needed. The second is anti-inflammatory medications, which prevent or heal the inflammation inside the bronchial tubes. These are generally used every day, even when the patient feels well. The final category includes medicines that modify the immune system to try to prevent asthma symptoms. Depending on the patient’s history and the results of any allergy testing, specific measures may be recommended to help the patient minimize exposure to their asthma triggers, allergic or otherwise. This will help reduce the amount of medication needed to control the patient’s asthma. Also, allergy immunotherapy injections are the most effective long-term preventative strategy for allergy treatment. For patients with allergy-induced asthma desensitization with immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) can dramatically reduce allergy-induced symptoms and decrease the amount of medications necessary to control asthma. How Your Local Allergy Partners Physician Can Help Your Allergy Partners physician can help determine the cause of your asthma by combining a thorough medical history and physical examination with appropriate diagnostic testing. Allergy Partners’ physicians can help with administration of allergy immunotherapy when appropriate. They are also experts in the administration of Xolair. Allergy Partners’ physicians, nurses and asthma educators are dedicated to teaching patients about their asthma and asthma medications (including device technique), which greatly decreases the rate of medical non-compliance and inappropriate medication usage. Allergy Partners’ ongoing dedication to patient education is demonstrated by multiple useful tools on the Allergy Partners website, including a medical conditions library, instructional videos on proper medication device technique, pollen counts and blog.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects over 20 million Americans, including 6 million children. It is a lung disorder in which the bronchioles, the inner lining of the small breathing tubes of the lungs, become inflamed and swollen. The muscles in the walls of the bronchioles may spasm, or narrow, causing symptoms of asthma which include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing. Individuals with mild asthma may not even be aware they have it, as wheezing may only be audible with a stethoscope if present at all. Rather than being a distinct clinical entity, asthma is now considered to represent overlapping syndromes with similar clinical features. Asthma may develop at any age, but most commonly occurs in early childhood, or mid-adulthood. Asthma that presents in childhood typically responds well to appropriate treatment and is often outgrown with time. Many cases that occur in adulthood respond well to treatment, but remain chronic. There is a strong genetic component to asthma, as approximately 40% of children who have asthmatic parents will develop asthma. Asthma also varies by ethnicity; for example, in 2006, asthma prevalence was found to be 20.1% higher in African Americans than in whites. Most patients with asthma, approximately 70%, have allergic disease. Most children with asthma have allergies that cause or significantly aggravate their asthma. As with many medical conditions, a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure plays a role in the development of asthma. Identification and avoidance of specific asthma triggers is imperative to help achieve optimal control of asthma. The most common environmental asthma triggers are allergens (inhalants such as house dust mites, pollens, molds, and animal dander), viral respiratory infections, exercise, and cigarette smoke. Other triggers may include cold air, humidity, occupational exposures, menses, emotional stress, pollutants, sulfite sensitivity, and ingestion of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. There are a variety of medical conditions that can mimic asthma. These conditions must be considered in a patient who continues to experience symptoms despite being on optimal medical treatment for asthma. They include acid reflux or GERD, habit cough, vocal cord dysfunction (or paradoxical vocal cord movement), upper airway obstruction, foreign body aspiration, Churg-Strauss Vasculitis, Chronic Eosinophilic Pneumonia, Hyper-eosinophilic Syndrome, ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, COPD, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, post-viral tussive syndrome and bronchiectasis. Optimal asthma control is often difficult to achieve until co-morbid (or co-existing) medical conditions have been properly addressed and managed. Co-morbid conditions to consider in the asthmatic patient include environmental allergic disease, chronic sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, tobacco abuse, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, corticosteroid resistance, occupational exposures, obesity, and Type II diabetes mellitus. Asthma is usually suspected when the characteristic symptoms occur, especially at nighttime, with exercise, with colds or with allergy flare-ups. Definitive diagnosis and optimal treatment of each individual case requires not only periodic exams, but also measurements of lung function, starting by five or six years of age. This is done by using spirometry which is a type of lung test that measures the amount and rate of air flow from the lungs. Correlation of the results of a patient’s spirometry test with their clinical symptoms helps the physician decide whether or not a patient’s asthma is under optimal control and whether or not a patient’s medications should be increased, decreased or left unchanged. Allergy testing is typically performed as part of the initial evaluation of an individual with asthma since allergies are a trigger in up to 85% of individuals with asthma. Chest x-rays, blood work, and other tests are rarely needed for the diagnosis and management of asthma, unless other medical problems are suspected. Optimal management of asthma begins with utilizing the evidence-based NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) asthma guidelines to stage the patient’s asthma based on impairment and severity. Treatment is then arranged with medications as appropriate to the level of disease. The goal of treatment is to develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan for the patient’s asthma that includes appropriate medical therapy, minimizes exposure to environmental triggers, treats underlying co-morbid conditions as discussed above, and patient education about their condition. The most common reason that patients experience suboptimal control of their asthma is that they do not take their medications as prescribed. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance, poor device technique, lack of understanding of their disease condition, and/or socio-economic factors. There are three basic categories of asthma medications- the first is bronchodilators, which temporarily relieve symptoms by relaxing constricted bronchial tubes. These are typically used only when needed. The second is anti-inflammatory medications, which prevent or heal the inflammation inside the bronchial tubes. These are generally used every day, even when the patient feels well. The final category includes medicines that modify the immune system to try to prevent asthma symptoms. Depending on the patient’s history and the results of any allergy testing, specific measures may be recommended to help the patient minimize exposure to their asthma triggers, allergic or otherwise. This will help reduce the amount of medication needed to control the patient’s asthma. Also, allergy immunotherapy injections are the most effective long-term preventative strategy for allergy treatment. For patients with allergy-induced asthma desensitization with immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) can dramatically reduce allergy-induced symptoms and decrease the amount of medications necessary to control asthma. How Your Local Allergy Partners Physician Can Help Your Allergy Partners physician can help determine the cause of your asthma by combining a thorough medical history and physical examination with appropriate diagnostic testing. Allergy Partners’ physicians can help with administration of allergy immunotherapy when appropriate. They are also experts in the administration of Xolair. Allergy Partners’ physicians, nurses and asthma educators are dedicated to teaching patients about their asthma and asthma medications (including device technique), which greatly decreases the rate of medical non-compliance and inappropriate medication usage. Allergy Partners’ ongoing dedication to patient education is demonstrated by multiple useful tools on the Allergy Partners website, including a medical conditions library, instructional videos on proper medication device technique, pollen counts and blog.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects over 20 million Americans, including 6 million children. It is a lung disorder in which the bronchioles, the inner lining of the small breathing tubes of the lungs, become inflamed and swollen. The muscles in the walls of the bronchioles may spasm, or narrow, causing symptoms of asthma which include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing. Individuals with mild asthma may not even be aware they have it, as wheezing may only be audible with a stethoscope if present at all. Rather than being a distinct clinical entity, asthma is now considered to represent overlapping syndromes with similar clinical features. Asthma may develop at any age, but most commonly occurs in early childhood, or mid-adulthood. Asthma that presents in childhood typically responds well to appropriate treatment and is often outgrown with time. Many cases that occur in adulthood respond well to treatment, but remain chronic. There is a strong genetic component to asthma, as approximately 40% of children who have asthmatic parents will develop asthma. Asthma also varies by ethnicity; for example, in 2006, asthma prevalence was found to be 20.1% higher in African Americans than in whites. Most patients with asthma, approximately 70%, have allergic disease. Most children with asthma have allergies that cause or significantly aggravate their asthma. As with many medical conditions, a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure plays a role in the development of asthma. Identification and avoidance of specific asthma triggers is imperative to help achieve optimal control of asthma. The most common environmental asthma triggers are allergens (inhalants such as house dust mites, pollens, molds, and animal dander), viral respiratory infections, exercise, and cigarette smoke. Other triggers may include cold air, humidity, occupational exposures, menses, emotional stress, pollutants, sulfite sensitivity, and ingestion of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. There are a variety of medical conditions that can mimic asthma. These conditions must be considered in a patient who continues to experience symptoms despite being on optimal medical treatment for asthma. They include acid reflux or GERD, habit cough, vocal cord dysfunction (or paradoxical vocal cord movement), upper airway obstruction, foreign body aspiration, Churg-Strauss Vasculitis, Chronic Eosinophilic Pneumonia, Hyper-eosinophilic Syndrome, ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, COPD, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, post-viral tussive syndrome and bronchiectasis. Optimal asthma control is often difficult to achieve until co-morbid (or co-existing) medical conditions have been properly addressed and managed. Co-morbid conditions to consider in the asthmatic patient include environmental allergic disease, chronic sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, tobacco abuse, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, corticosteroid resistance, occupational exposures, obesity, and Type II diabetes mellitus. Asthma is usually suspected when the characteristic symptoms occur, especially at nighttime, with exercise, with colds or with allergy flare-ups. Definitive diagnosis and optimal treatment of each individual case requires not only periodic exams, but also measurements of lung function, starting by five or six years of age. This is done by using spirometry which is a type of lung test that measures the amount and rate of air flow from the lungs. Correlation of the results of a patient’s spirometry test with their clinical symptoms helps the physician decide whether or not a patient’s asthma is under optimal control and whether or not a patient’s medications should be increased, decreased or left unchanged. Allergy testing is typically performed as part of the initial evaluation of an individual with asthma since allergies are a trigger in up to 85% of individuals with asthma. Chest x-rays, blood work, and other tests are rarely needed for the diagnosis and management of asthma, unless other medical problems are suspected. Optimal management of asthma begins with utilizing the evidence-based NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) asthma guidelines to stage the patient’s asthma based on impairment and severity. Treatment is then arranged with medications as appropriate to the level of disease. The goal of treatment is to develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan for the patient’s asthma that includes appropriate medical therapy, minimizes exposure to environmental triggers, treats underlying co-morbid conditions as discussed above, and patient education about their condition. The most common reason that patients experience suboptimal control of their asthma is that they do not take their medications as prescribed. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance, poor device technique, lack of understanding of their disease condition, and/or socio-economic factors. There are three basic categories of asthma medications- the first is bronchodilators, which temporarily relieve symptoms by relaxing constricted bronchial tubes. These are typically used only when needed. The second is anti-inflammatory medications, which prevent or heal the inflammation inside the bronchial tubes. These are generally used every day, even when the patient feels well. The final category includes medicines that modify the immune system to try to prevent asthma symptoms. Depending on the patient’s history and the results of any allergy testing, specific measures may be recommended to help the patient minimize exposure to their asthma triggers, allergic or otherwise. This will help reduce the amount of medication needed to control the patient’s asthma. Also, allergy immunotherapy injections are the most effective long-term preventative strategy for allergy treatment. For patients with allergy-induced asthma desensitization with immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) can dramatically reduce allergy-induced symptoms and decrease the amount of medications necessary to control asthma. How Your Local Allergy Partners Physician Can Help Your Allergy Partners physician can help determine the cause of your asthma by combining a thorough medical history and physical examination with appropriate diagnostic testing. Allergy Partners’ physicians can help with administration of allergy immunotherapy when appropriate. They are also experts in the administration of Xolair. Allergy Partners’ physicians, nurses and asthma educators are dedicated to teaching patients about their asthma and asthma medications (including device technique), which greatly decreases the rate of medical non-compliance and inappropriate medication usage. Allergy Partners’ ongoing dedication to patient education is demonstrated by multiple useful tools on the Allergy Partners website, including a medical conditions library, instructional videos on proper medication device technique, pollen counts and blog.


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects over 20 million Americans, including 6 million children. It is a lung disorder in which the bronchioles, the inner lining of the small breathing tubes of the lungs, become inflamed and swollen. The muscles in the walls of the bronchioles may spasm, or narrow, causing symptoms of asthma which include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing. Individuals with mild asthma may not even be aware they have it, as wheezing may only be audible with a stethoscope if present at all. Rather than being a distinct clinical entity, asthma is now considered to represent overlapping syndromes with similar clinical features. Asthma may develop at any age, but most commonly occurs in early childhood, or mid-adulthood. Asthma that presents in childhood typically responds well to appropriate treatment and is often outgrown with time. Many cases that occur in adulthood respond well to treatment, but remain chronic. There is a strong genetic component to asthma, as approximately 40% of children who have asthmatic parents will develop asthma. Asthma also varies by ethnicity; for example, in 2006, asthma prevalence was found to be 20.1% higher in African Americans than in whites. Most patients with asthma, approximately 70%, have allergic disease. Most children with asthma have allergies that cause or significantly aggravate their asthma. As with many medical conditions, a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure plays a role in the development of asthma. Identification and avoidance of specific asthma triggers is imperative to help achieve optimal control of asthma. The most common environmental asthma triggers are allergens (inhalants such as house dust mites, pollens, molds, and animal dander), viral respiratory infections, exercise, and cigarette smoke. Other triggers may include cold air, humidity, occupational exposures, menses, emotional stress, pollutants, sulfite sensitivity, and ingestion of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. There are a variety of medical conditions that can mimic asthma. These conditions must be considered in a patient who continues to experience symptoms despite being on optimal medical treatment for asthma. They include acid reflux or GERD, habit cough, vocal cord dysfunction (or paradoxical vocal cord movement), upper airway obstruction, foreign body aspiration, Churg-Strauss Vasculitis, Chronic Eosinophilic Pneumonia, Hyper-eosinophilic Syndrome, ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, COPD, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, post-viral tussive syndrome and bronchiectasis. Optimal asthma control is often difficult to achieve until co-morbid (or co-existing) medical conditions have been properly addressed and managed. Co-morbid conditions to consider in the asthmatic patient include environmental allergic disease, chronic sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD, tobacco abuse, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, corticosteroid resistance, occupational exposures, obesity, and Type II diabetes mellitus. Asthma is usually suspected when the characteristic symptoms occur, especially at nighttime, with exercise, with colds or with allergy flare-ups. Definitive diagnosis and optimal treatment of each individual case requires not only periodic exams, but also measurements of lung function, starting by five or six years of age. This is done by using spirometry which is a type of lung test that measures the amount and rate of air flow from the lungs. Correlation of the results of a patient’s spirometry test with their clinical symptoms helps the physician decide whether or not a patient’s asthma is under optimal control and whether or not a patient’s medications should be increased, decreased or left unchanged. Allergy testing is typically performed as part of the initial evaluation of an individual with asthma since allergies are a trigger in up to 85% of individuals with asthma. Chest x-rays, blood work, and other tests are rarely needed for the diagnosis and management of asthma, unless other medical problems are suspected. Optimal management of asthma begins with utilizing the evidence-based NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) asthma guidelines to stage the patient’s asthma based on impairment and severity. Treatment is then arranged with medications as appropriate to the level of disease. The goal of treatment is to develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan for the patient’s asthma that includes appropriate medical therapy, minimizes exposure to environmental triggers, treats underlying co-morbid conditions as discussed above, and patient education about their condition. The most common reason that patients experience suboptimal control of their asthma is that they do not take their medications as prescribed. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance, poor device technique, lack of understanding of their disease condition, and/or socio-economic factors. There are three basic categories of asthma medications- the first is bronchodilators, which temporarily relieve symptoms by relaxing constricted bronchial tubes. These are typically used only when needed. The second is anti-inflammatory medications, which prevent or heal the inflammation inside the bronchial tubes. These are generally used every day, even when the patient feels well. The final category includes medicines that modify the immune system to try to prevent asthma symptoms. Depending on the patient’s history and the results of any allergy testing, specific measures may be recommended to help the patient minimize exposure to their asthma triggers, allergic or otherwise. This will help reduce the amount of medication needed to control the patient’s asthma. Also, allergy immunotherapy injections are the most effective long-term preventative strategy for allergy treatment. For patients with allergy-induced asthma desensitization with immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) can dramatically reduce allergy-induced symptoms and decrease the amount of medications necessary to control asthma. How Your Local Allergy Partners Physician Can Help Your Allergy Partners physician can help determine the cause of your asthma by combining a thorough medical history and physical examination with appropriate diagnostic testing. Allergy Partners’ physicians can help with administration of allergy immunotherapy when appropriate. They are also experts in the administration of Xolair. Allergy Partners’ physicians, nurses and asthma educators are dedicated to teaching patients about their asthma and asthma medications (including device technique), which greatly decreases the rate of medical non-compliance and inappropriate medication usage. Allergy Partners’ ongoing dedication to patient education is demonstrated by multiple useful tools on the Allergy Partners website, including a medical conditions library, instructional videos on proper medication device technique, pollen counts and blog.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BOSTON -- Researchers from Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research have discovered that foot pain - particularly severe foot pain - correlates to a higher incidence of recurrent falls. This finding also extends to those diagnosed with planus foot posture (flat feet), indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls among older adults. Using data from the Framingham Foot study, researchers found that foot pain and foot posture were not associated with any one fall; however, in the case of multiple falls, foot pain and foot posture were often a factor. These findings were published today in the journal Gerontology. "We know that having more than one fall can be of concern. Many don't think of feet as the culprit. However, higher odds of recurrent falls were seen for those with foot pain, especially severe foot pain, as well as those with planus foot posture, indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls," said Marian Hannan, Co -Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Institute for Aging Research and Associate Professor of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health. "This is important because falls are a serious problem for older adults. They are a leading cause of hospitalization and often lead to a loss of independence, a decrease in quality of life, and sometimes death. With this new knowledge we hope to find more solutions to lessen the risk of falls in older adults," said Lead author Arunima Awale, Research Associate at Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research. More than 30 percent of individuals over the age of 65 fall at least once a year. This figure increases to over 40% for persons aged 75 years or older. As a result of this study, scientists are hopeful that by lessening the instance of foot pain in older adults they can significantly reduce hospitalizations and loss of independence for American seniors. This study was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease and National Institute of Aging (grant number AR047853); and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study N01-HC-25195). About the Institute for Aging Research Scientists at the Institute for Aging Research seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity and productivity into advanced age. The Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making. The Aging Brain Center within IFAR studies cognitive aging and conditions affecting brain health. Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching and redefining the possibilities of aging. Founded in Boston in 1903, the nonprofit, non-sectarian organization today provides communities and health care for seniors, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit http://www. , follow us on Twitter @H_SeniorLife, like us on Facebook or read our blog.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. But public awareness of the condition lags far behind its impact. "Unfortunately, we estimate there are millions of other Americans living with the disease who have not yet been diagnosed," says Meilan Han, M.D., an associate professor of internal medicine at Michigan Medicine and the medical director of the University of Michigan Women's Respiratory Health Program. "That's why we need to create more public awareness around this lung disease." Han is a part of the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute group that recently created a new COPD National Action Plan. Released at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference in Washington, D.C., it outlines key goals, including raising public awareness of COPD, advancing research, improving patient care and health delivery, and developing management strategies for patients. "Most people don't realize that COPD is actually a manageable disease," says Han, also a volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association, a partner in creation of the plan. "The plan outlines the importance public awareness plays in this disease. So many people go undiagnosed, but perhaps having more education around their symptoms, would prompt them to reach out to their physician for care." What physicians should know The formulation of the plan began in early 2016 with a COPD Town Hall Meeting, where stakeholders shared their thoughts. In the end, the group set five key goals for awareness and treatment of COPD: Empower people with COPD, their families and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of the disease. Promote education and training for health care professionals to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of COPD. Collect, analyze, disseminate and report COPD-related public health data that drive change and track progress. Increase and sustain research to better understand the prevention, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and management of COPD. Translate national policy, educational and program recommendations into legislative, research and public health care actions. "We want to see health care practitioners and the health care community keep this deadly condition top of mind," Han says. "As a researcher, physician and advocate for patients with this disease, I know I speak for myself and the committee when I say that we hope this plan helps create additional awareness for COPD and undiagnosed patients receive the care they need. For those already diagnosed, we hope to continue to provide high-quality education and health care to help them manage this incurable disease."


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

(Boston) -- When someone gets diagnosed with hypertension, either early (before the age of 55) or later in life, can have important health ramifications. According to a new study, diagnosis of high blood pressure at an earlier age is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular death and signifies an inherited predisposition for the disease. The findings, which appear in the British Medical Journal, offer important prognostic information in assessing an individual's cardiovascular risk. It is well known that hypertension confers substantial risk for developing cardiovascular outcomes when present in either younger or older age. However, there are currently limited data to guide clinicians on the possible relevance of distinguishing between the importance of hypertension that develops earlier in life and that which develops later in life. Using data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) studied several decades worth of blood pressure readings collected over multiple generations. The researchers tracked which individuals developed high blood pressure earlier or later in life, identified patterns of earlier versus later onset hypertension among families and then compared the lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease in people with earlier versus later onset hypertension. 'We now know that there are at least two types of high blood pressure of which patients and providers should be aware -- one type that develops earlier in life, which likely represents an inherited trait, and another that develops later in life that could possibly have more to do with lifestyle factors. Most importantly, the type that develops earlier in life is related to greater lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease," explained corresponding author Teemu J. Niiranen, MD, research fellow at BUSM and FHS. The researchers hope their study will lead both patients and providers to pay greater attention to the timing of when a person's high blood pressure develops since younger people who develop high blood pressure need to be more carefully managed by their doctors. "If people who happen to develop hypertension earlier rather than later in life can receive more aggressive and targeted therapies to control their blood pressure, this could help reduce their lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease," added senior author Susan Cheng, MD, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Funding for this study was provided by the American Heart Association (SC) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study (contracts N01HC25195 and HHSN268201500001I), and the following National Institutes of Health grants: T32GM74905 (ELM), R01HL093328 (RSV), R01HL107385 (RSV), R01HL126136 (RSV), R00HL107642 (SC), R01HL131532 (SC), and R01HL134168 (SC).


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

Discovery at Gladstone Institutes will help reevaluate the cause of certain cancers and developmental defects ​​​After decades of research aiming to understand how DNA is organized in human cells, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have shed new light on this mysterious field by discovering how a key protein helps control gene organization. Humans have nearly 30,000 genes that determine traits from eye color to risk for hereditary diseases. Those genes sit along six feet of DNA, which are carefully organized into chromosomes and stuffed into each and every microscopic human cell. “The extreme compacting of DNA into chromosomes is like taking a telephone cord that stretches from San Francisco to New York, and stuffing it into a backpack,” described Benoit Bruneau, PhD, a senior investigator at Gladstone and lead author of a new study. “The organization of chromosomes is not random, but rather very complex, and it is critical for normal development. When this process goes wrong, it can contribute to various diseases.” How is our DNA organized? Chromosomes are coiled into loops and then organized into many large domains called topologically associating domains, or TADs. Within each TAD, several genes and the elements that regulate them are packaged together, and they are insulated from those in neighboring TADs. “Imagine TADs are like adjoining rooms: like the genes in each TAD, people in each room can talk to one another, but not to people in the next room,” explained Elphège Nora, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in Bruneau’s laboratory and first author of the study. “In previous work, we showed that TADs package genes together and insulate them from neighboring genes. The burning question then became: what controls this TAD organization?” In the new study, published in the renowned scientific journal Cell, the scientists discovered that the key to organizing these TADs is a protein called CTCF. “CTCF is a fascinating protein,” said Bruneau, who is also a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. “It can be found at the boundaries of TAD domains, and was previously thought to be involved in many aspects of chromosome organization. We wanted to see what would happen to the structure of chromosomes if we removed all the CTCF from cells.” CTCF: observing a protein that is impossible to study Researchers have struggled with studying the role of CTCF in the past, because it is absolutely essential to cells’ survival. Therefore, completely removing CTCF would cause cells to die, making them impossible to study. “We used a new genetic method to completely eliminate CTCF in mammalian cells,” said Nora. “Using this technique, we destroyed the protein very quickly so that we could study the cells before they died. This allowed us to look at the entire genome in the absence of CTCF and observe the effects.” In collaboration with a team of computational biologists led by Leonid A. Mirny at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a team of biochemists led by Job Dekker at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Gladstone scientists demonstrated the importance of CTCF for the insulation of TADs. “We noticed that, in the absence of the CTCF protein, the insulating boundaries of TAD domains had almost fully disappeared, so that genes and regulatory elements could now interact with those in adjacent TADs,” added Nora. “This would be like removing the wall between adjoining rooms, so that people could now freely interact with others in the neighboring room.” However, the absence of CTCF had little effect on how genes connect within a single TAD. This indicates that CTCF is required for insulating TADs from one another, but not for packaging genes within these domains. This represents the first conclusive study to show that the two mechanisms are separate and controlled by different proteins. Now that the scientists finally had a way of removing CTCF from cells, and disrupting the organization of TADs, they could start studying its impact on various aspects of the genome. They leveraged this new ability to examine other levels of chromosome organization. “We looked at a level of organization called compartmentalization, which separates active and inactive genes within a cell nucleus,” said Nora. “This helps the cell identify which genes to use. For example, skins cells don’t need eye-related genes, so these genes would be tightly packaged in a compartment and put away, because the cell will never use them. We used to think that boundaries of TAD domains were a prerequisite for the organization of these compartments.” “To our surprise, we found that is not the case,” said Bruneau. “When we deleted the CTCF protein, which caused TAD boundaries to disappear, we saw no effect on the organization of the larger compartments. This interesting finding revealed that CTCF and TAD structure are not required for compartmentalization but, rather, that an independent mechanism is responsible for this chromosome organization.” “Our findings redefine the role of CTCF in gene regulation and provide new insights about the fundamental processes that govern genome organization” added Bruneau. “With this knowledge, we can now start reevaluating the cause of several diseases, as chromosome organization–including TADs­–is often disrupted in many cancers and involved in significant developmental defects, such as congenital heart disease.” Prior to its publication in the peer-reviewed journal Cell, a preliminary version of the study was posted on bioRxiv, an open-access distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences, and downloaded nearly 5,000 times over the past few months. “Websites like these offer new, exciting, and more direct ways to share research results,” said Bruneau. “It also provided us with valuable input that helped shape our final manuscript and future research.” About the research project Alec Uebersohn from Bruneau’s lab at Gladstone also contributed to the study, as did Anton Goloborodko and Nezar Abdennur from Mirny’s lab at MIT, and Anne-Laure Valton and Johan H. Gibcus from Dekker’s lab at UMass Medical School. Research at Gladstone was supported by the NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (grant U01HL098179); Gladstone Institutes; and a generous gift from William H. Younger, Jr. Nora was also supported by fellowships from EMBO, the Human Frontier Science Program, and the Philippe Foundation. About the Gladstone Institutes To ensure our work does the greatest good, the Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact—unsolved diseases. Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease. It has an academic affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco.


In combination with the standard test of clotting time, new laboratory testing method opens the door to personalized resuscitation for trauma patients CHICAGO (May 15, 2017): By combining a conventional laboratory measurement of blood clotting time (known as the International Normalized Ratio or INR) with a new test of blood clot strength, based upon thrombelastography (TEG®), researchers at the University of Colorado's Department of Surgery, Denver, are able to quickly and efficiently assess the overall ability of blood to clot and identify trauma patients who were most in need of a massive blood transfusion. The investigators believe that in the not too distant future these tests, when used in combination, will be able to personalize trauma care, help surgeons save lives, and make better use of scarce blood bank resources. The ability of the tests to predict the need for massive transfusion was described in an "article in press" published on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print publication. More than 80 percent of deaths in the operating room and 50 percent of deaths in the first 24 hours after injury are due to massive blood loss and impaired coagulation. While only 3 percent of civilian trauma patients receive a massive transfusion in the first day of treatment after trauma, these patients account for 70 percent of all blood transfused in a trauma center.1 "When someone is massively bleeding, you need to give certain blood products early, and the blood bank has to mobilize blood products that are resource scarce, such as platelets, which have only a five-day shelf life. You want to quickly identify patients who will require a large quantity of blood products to save lives and mobilize the blood bank only when you need it," according to lead study author, Hunter B. Moore, MD. However, clinical scoring systems for predicting the need for massive transfusion are problematic. Some rely on vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, which are subjective and highly variable; others require multiple diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests.2 Dr. Moore and his colleagues at the University of Colorado's Department of Surgery developed a new test to predict which patients would require massive transfusion. This test modifies a currently available test of blood clot strength, thrombelastography (TEG®), by adding tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to a patient's blood sample. Thrombelastography is a point-of-care assay of coagulation that measures the viscoelastic properties of whole blood and determines the ability of blood to clot. Tissue plasminogen activator is a protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots. "When patients go into hemorrhagic shock, they activate the blood's fibrinolysis or clot degradation system at the local or organ level so organs continue to be perfused with blood. At the systemic level, there are backup inhibitors--platelets and proteins--that prevent clot degradation from affecting the whole body. Activators of fibrinolysis include tissue plasminogen activator. As patients progress toward hemorrhagic shock, clot degradation intensifies, and their tPA levels increase. We can unmask this process in the early stages by giving extra tPA to blood samples and forecast if the patient is at high risk of progression to hyperfibrinolysis," Dr. Moore said. Dr. Moore and associates studied more than 300 patients who were treated for trauma between 2014 and 2016. Seventeen percent of the patients required a massive transfusion, and one third of deaths were due to uncontrolled hemorrhage. The investigators assessed how effectively each clinical score could determine the need for massive transfusion, and compared their effectiveness to their new developed test. The analysis showed that this tPA-challenged TEG assay was highly sensitive and specific and took only a few minutes to provide results--up to 30 minutes faster than existing tests. Moreover, when the tPA-challenged TEG assay, was used in combination with the INR, it improved the predictive value of identifying patients who needed transfusion by roughly 40 percent. Additionally, the two-test combination identified 97 percent of patients who did not require blood products, thereby preventing unnecessary transfusions. The researchers therefore propose that trauma teams use the INR as a screening test to determine if someone is at risk for bleeding and then follow up with tPA-challenged TEG to ensure that this result is accurate. The tPA-challenged TEG assays currently require trained technicians to conduct the testing. However, newly available fully automated TEG instruments will streamline this process, according to Dr. Moore. "The fully automated assays will have a standardized methodology for obtaining samples and may be used as a point-of-care test by prehospital providers to screen for the risk of massive transfusion before patients enter the trauma center. These assays will help us move one step closer to the time when the trauma team can tailor or personalize resuscitation to each patient," Dr. Moore said. In addition to Dr. Moore, other study authors include Ernest E. Moore, MD, FACS; Michael P. Chapman, MD; Benjamin R. Huebner, MD; Peter M. Einersen, MD; Solimon Oushy, BA; Christopher C. Silliman, MD, PhD; Anirban Banerjee, PhD; and Angela Sauaia, MD, PhD. Citation: Viscoelastic Tissue Plasminogen Activator Challenge Predicts Massive Transfusion in 15 Minutes. Journal of American College of Surgeons. DOI: http://dx. . This study was supported in part by National Institute of General Medical Sciences grants T32-GM008315 and P50-GM49222; National Heart Lung and Blood Institute grant UM 1HL120877; and Department of Defense Contract Number USAMRAA, W81XWH-12-2-0028. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, or the Department of Defense. Disclaimer: Drs. H. Moore, E. Moore, and Chapman have shared intellectual property with Haemonetics. There is no direct financial relationship. Haemonetics provided reagents and devices to run viscoelastic assays, but has no involvement with data analysis, interpretation, or any contribution to this manuscript. 1 American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program: ACS TQIP Massive Transfusion in Trauma Guidelines. Available at https:/ . Accessed May 11, 2017. 2 Brockamp T et al. Predicting on-goin hemorrhage and transfusion requirement after severe trauma: a validation of six scoring systems and algorithm on the TraumaRegister DGU. Critical Care. 2012; 16(4):R129. About the American College of Surgeons The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit http://www. .

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