Asthma (from the Greek άσθμα, ásthma, "panting") is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Asthma Stories
  • Bitter taste receptors in lungs answer to asthma

    What is common between your tongue and lung? As you struggle to find an answer, scientists have found recently that these two organs share the same bitter taste receptors. These receptors in the bronchial muscle may well be the answer for asthma and other lung diseases.
  • What can country of birth tell us about childhood asthma?

    Researchers from Tufts University pooled data from five previous epidemiological studies to investigate the prevalence of asthma in children in the Boston neighborhoods of Chinatown and Dorchester.
  • Discovery of taste receptors in the lungs could help people with asthma breathe easier

    Taste receptors in the lungs? Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have discovered that bitter taste receptors are not just located in the mouth but also in human lungs.
  • Air pollution exposure increases risk of severe COPD

    Long term exposure to low-level air pollution may increase the risk of severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to researcher s in Denmark.
  • Air pollution alters immune function, worsens asthma symptoms

    Exposure to dirty air is linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Stressed-out mums may worsen their child's asthma

    Mums who are often angry or irritated and those who suppress their emotional expressions can worsen the severity of their children's asthma symptoms, especially when the children are younger.
  • Bacteria to blame in asthma attacks in children

    Doctors have long known that viral infections can bring about asthma attacks and the shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing associated with them.
  • Asthma exacerbation and large doses of inhaled corticosteroids

    There is no evidence that increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroids at the onset of an asthma exacerbation, as part of a patient-initiated action plan, reduces the need for rescue oral corticosteroids. This is the conclusion of work published in The Cochrane Library this month.
  • Food allergies raise risk of asthma attacks

    Food allergies are more common among people with asthma and may contribute to asthma attacks, according to one of the most comprehensive surveys of food allergies ever undertaken. National Jewish Health Associate Professor of Pediatrics Andrew H. Liu and his colleagues also report in the November 2010 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that food allergies are more prevalent among children, males and non-Hispanic blacks.
  • Largest genetic study of asthma points towards better treatments

    An international study looking at DNA from over 26,000 people has identified several genetic variants that substantially increase susceptibility to asthma in the population. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, will help scientists to focus their efforts to develop better therapies for the illness.
  • Possible alternate therapy for adults with poorly controlled asthma

    A drug commonly used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) successfully treats adults whose asthma is not well-controlled on low doses of inhaled corticosteroids, reported researchers supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Imbalanced diet and inadequate exercise may underlie asthma in children

    Even children of a healthy weight who have an imbalanced metabolism due to poor diet or exercise may be at increased risk of asthma, according to new research, which challenges the widespread assumption that obesity itself is a risk factor for asthma.