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New asthma biomarkers discovered, could ease detection

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.

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Comments 4

  • HikaControl

    There is this DNA testing site called 23andme and they have a "health section" from what I hear where you can see your genetic possibility for disease. I thought it is interesting but it is expensive $200. I wish that insurance will cover this someday. I think such information can be helpful if used properly. At least people become aware of what genetic conditions they possible can have risks on.

  • HikaControl

    They have it, but from what I have read (I have not tried it yet), you can opt in (for no additional cost). They were called on by the FDA for that.

    But TBH, I find it promising. Imagine, you don't have to go through trial and error just to see what stuff you are allergic to. I discovered I am allergic to codeine after I was prescribed cough syrup that has codeine in it. I had to deal with bad hives twice and was put under prednisone.

    I hope they develop it further and be eventually part of routine physicals

  • Jen

    It would certainly be great to have  readout of one's allergies.  Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's a guessing game and many times we have to learn the hard way.