Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Antibody Injections Help Severe Asthma

Half a million people with severe asthma now have an effective treatment. 

Two groups of researchers from the UK and Canada found injections of mepolizumab, an antibody, help reduce the frequency of severe attacks in people with asthma exacerbated. Aside from decreasing the number of attacks, the treatment also allows asthma patients to decrease their use of steroids, which have multiple negative side effects like weight gain and bone loss. 

This type of asthma is linked to abnormally high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils. The antibody injections bring the white blood cell count down and that prevents the server airway inflammation associated with asthma. 

The treatment reduces attacks by up to 50 percent and increases the quality of life for asthma sufferers

Originally reported by the BBC

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