Scientists say the reason a patient suffers an asthma attack is down to the fact that the gene creates a specific enzyme that attaches its self to cells in the airway muscles. Experts also say the enzyme loses its anchor to the cell surface, it is prone to going rogue around the lung, causing poorer lung function in people who have asthma.
However scientists believe they found a cure by halting the ADAM33 gene which will completely reverse the abnormal airwave structures associated with asthma attacks and therefore prevent the disease in patients.
The lead Professor Hans Michel Haitchi behind the study said the findings radically alter their understanding of the disease.
“For years we have thought that airway remodelling is the result of the inflammation caused by an allergic reaction, but our research tells us otherwise.”
“Stopping this ADAM33 induced process would prevent a harmful effect that promotes the development of allergic asthma for many of the 5.4 million people in the UK with the condition.”
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Professor Haitchi further explained the next steps are to develop small molecules that might block the rouge enzyme of ADAM33 in conjunction with pharmaceutical companies.
“It will take some more research […] but we hope that within the next 5-10 years we will have something to treat not only the inflammation but the origin of the disease.”