Researchers have identified a compound that binds to a major
dust mite allergen and turned it into an inhalable powder, which when tested in
rats, showed that it significantly dampens the animals' immune response when
they were exposed to a variety of allergens. This new approach of treating asthma
is by targeting the trigger before it can spark an attack.
Current asthma treatments alleviate wheezing, coughing and
other symptoms, but they do not get to the root cause of the condition. Getting
to the cause of a condition and targeting it directly is the ideal approach to
prevent many health problems. Asthma that occurs when the immune system goes
into overdrive affecting the airway in response to an otherwise harmless
substance, had posed a challenge to this model, because it can be triggered by
different allergens or irritants.
But recent studies suggest a way to neutralize mite
allergens. This newly found compound and other similar inhibitors could hail a new
direction in asthma treatment, say the researchers. The study is published in Journal
of Medicinal Chemistry.