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Biology, Uncategorized

Asthma, neurons, and the immune system

I still remember my first asthma attack. It’s a pretty terrifying feeling and one that I have worked hard against. The more I improve my cardiovascular system, the harder I’m able to push without feeling asthma’s grasp. But I’m lucky. I am able to train and improve but asthma can be debilitating. And while we have the ability to treat the symptoms we have yet to even discover the many different interactions and reactions that make up asthma. New research has found an interesting think between a particular neurotransmitter (a chemical that tells your neurons to respond) and the immune system cells that start the inflammation associated with asthma. Wallrapp et al (2017) discovered that this “cross talk” between the nervous system and the immune system is a significant factor in turning what are normally protective cells into inflammatory cells along mucosal surfaces like the lungs.

While this does not yet change the treatment for asthma sufferers it is one more piece that may lead to a cure, or at least better management.

About Tai Munro

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities.


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