HHS Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2007–2012 (Strategic Plan). Asthma

11/22/2015

NIH supports a comprehensive asthma program to develop new approaches to prevent, treat, and control asthma. Asthma exacerbations cause many of the negative effects of asthma, and management of asthma exacerbations accounts for a large proportion of the estimated annual cost to the Nation’s economy. In contrast to the understanding of the origins of asthma, little is known about the processes that occur during an acute episode; how worsening attacks are resolved; the effect of attacks on future severity and frequency; and the long-term effects on lung physiology, function, and disease progression. In order to develop new interventions to prevent and help resolve acute or worsening asthma episodes, NIH initiated a set of basic, clinical, and translational studies to determine the molecular, cellular, and genetic causes of asthma exacerbations. The long-term goal is to identify and characterize two molecular pathways of potential clinical significance that may serve as a basis for discovering new medications for preventing and treating the progression of this disease. The studies will address diverse areas including the role of environmental triggers in enhancing airway hyperresponsiveness; the relationship of environmental factors to frequency and severity of asthma attacks; specific effects of initiating events on lung physiology and inflammation; genetic approaches to individual susceptibility for worsening attacks; and the role specific immune and lung cells play in asthma disease classification, chemistry, and physiology.

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