Speedy new test for asthma measures–guess what?–nitric oxide

It’s hard for patients with chronic asthma to describe nuances of their condition to doctors and nurses. Now researchers from Belgium have found a fast new way to understand: <a href="http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/feeds/hscout/2005/03/20/hscout5
24634.html” target=blank>by quickly measuring nitric oxide levels in exhalation they can fairly accurately determine the quality of life an asthma patient is experiencing. More exhaled NO indicates greater stress on the lungs—and thus a lower quality of life.

This new one-minute NO test could help medical professionals reliably evaluate a patient’s condition, measure ongoing progress, and adjust treatment accordingly. That’s really good news for those who suffer the potentially life-threatening misery of severe asthma. And given the extraordinary role of NO is so many conditions, it may mean hope for using the test to discover better treatments for other conditions as well..