New research aimed at reducing the airway damage caused by asthma attacks in children has just begun at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Western Australia.
The research, which focuses on the ability of the body to repair damaged airway cells in some children and not in others will run over three years thanks to a major grant from the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council.
The study builds on previous findings from the Telethon Institute respiratory research team which showed the body is capable of producing the appropriate proteins and communicating effectively with each other in order to replace damaged ones in the airways of non-asthmatic children, but not in children with asthma.
The new research is aimed at delving deeper into why this happens in order to uncover a way of helping stimulate the body’s natural repair system and improve the lives of young asthma sufferers.
“Every time a child with asthma has an attack their airways are suffering further damage that the body isn’t fixing properly. If we can uncover a way to help them produce their own naturally occurring repair mechanisms then we can go a long way to helping these children breather easier and better.” said the study’s Chief Investigator Dr Anthony Kicic.
The research team will use microscopic airway cell samples collected from both asthmatic and non-asthmatic children in WA to conduct the study. The samples will be collected from participating children, with parental consent, when they go into hospital for non-respiratory related routine surgery.
“We are so fortunate to have such wonderful support from the West Australian public who already throw their weight behind our asthma research. With the help of these willing families we hope we may be able to shed new light on how to combat the damage caused by asthma and perhaps offer some better options for treatment.” said Dr Kicic.
Source: Telethon Institute