Interesting news from Penn State – could asthma detection one day be as simple as a blood test? And could this potentially lead to improved treatments?
People with asthma have telltale molecules circulating in their blood, say researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The discovery could lead to the first diagnostic blood test for asthma, as well as more targeted treatments for the condition.
There are currently no definitive diagnostic tests for asthma, a common chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects 25 million Americans.
"Right now, we diagnose asthma based on someone's history and breathing tests — and both of those have limitations," said Faoud T. Ishmael, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular biology.
There are also several sub-types of the condition, such as allergic or non-allergic asthma or the presence or absence of immune cells called eosinophils. The different variations make asthma harder to treat.