Here’s a sobering thought: Nearly half of Americans with severe asthma do not respond to conventional drugs, leaving them with few ways to minimize the often-debilitating symptoms of the chronic disease. But researchers at NHLBI have developed a new treatment that has the potential to dramatically change that: A synthetic peptide that mimics the work of a protein, called apolipoprotein, that appears to reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve their ability to function normally.

The researchers made the discovery by studying the pathways of asthma, leading them to conclude that, despite the similarity in patient’s symptoms, the severe form of the disease could have several genetic root causes, each resulting in different responses to treatment.


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