Tag Archives: exhaled nitric oxide

Promising new treatment for uncontrolled asthma

Asthma before-after

Asthma before-after (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your body produces nitric oxide (NO) as a way to fight inflammation, relax tight muscles and increase blood flow. High levels of exhaled nitric oxide in your breath can mean that your airways are inflamed — one sign of asthma.

Researchers have recently discovered a substance called anti-thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) that seems to aggravate inflammation and trigger response to allergens in adults with allergic asthma.

In  a small double-blind study asthma patients treated with AMG-157 (Amgen) over nearly a 3-month period reacted significantly less to asthmatic challenges than those not treated. Amgen is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits TSLP activity by binding to it.

Study results reported  adults with allergic asthma were shown to have “reduced the fraction of exhaled nitric oxide and blood and sputum eosinophils,” both of which are markers for airway inflammation. Dramatic promise for patients whose asthma is not well-controlled by other means.

Exhaled NO shows e-cigarettes too good to be true

CIGARETTE

CIGARETTE (Photo credit: Fried Dough)

As an ex-smoker I was intrigued when I heard about the new “smokeless” cigarette as an alternative to the devastatingly addictive habit of tobacco smoking. I wondered if it was truly possible to essentially hang on to your habit and not suffer the consequences.

Recent research says definitively not.

Italian researchers tested a small group of subjects for rates of exhaled nitric oxide (NO) – considered to be an accurate gauge of whether airways are inflamed – and found that e-smokers’ lungs were just as short on exhaled NO as those of tobacco smokers’. In fact, there were indications that nicotine-laced e-cigarettes actually deposited more particles in the lungs than real cigarette smoke.

So, unlike using methadone for stabilizing people with addictions, the e-cure could be turning out to be worse than what it’s replacing.