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Researchers discuss new ways of understanding asthma and allergy

New types of scientific study are helping to uncover the causes of asthma and allergy, but more work is still needed, a recent review explains.

Asthma is a condition that can make breathing difficult and cause coughing and wheezing. It is often linked to allergy, which is an immune response to something that is not usually harmful.

A recent review, published in the European Respiratory Journal, looks at new types of research into these conditions that use computers to understand and process a lot of information at once.  

These studies are helping scientists to understand the causes of asthma and allergies, particularly causes linked to our environment and our genes (bits of information stored in our DNA). For example, a person’s diet, whether they grew up around tobacco smoke, and whether they have had certain types of infection can all alter the risk of asthma and allergy.

The review explains that many different factors work together to cause these diseases, and scientists are learning about these complicated relationships using new research methods.  

According to the authors, the knowledge gained from these types of study could help us to develop better treatments for asthma and allergy to benefit people who are affected by these conditions in the future.

If you are affected by asthma or allergy and would like to share your experiences to influence research and medicine, there are a number of opportunities that may be suitable for you. ELF supports patient advisory groups (also known as PAGs) including an asthma PAG.  If you would like to find out more about this group, or other opportunities to get involved, email info@europeanlung.org for more information.  

Read the article abstract

Read our factsheet on difficult-to-treat and severe asthma

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