Respiratory News

Researchers from New York’s Mount Sinai have partnered with Theragene Pharmaceuticals to further develop a new airway-delivered gene therapy for pulmo- nary hypertension. After showing prom- ising results in animal studies, this new therapy will advance to clinical trials, which are expected to take place in the next two years.

If you are interested in participating in clinical trials, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov

 Forbes magazine reports the future of health care lies in apps for your phone. Dig- ital therapeutics are a new category of apps that help treat diseases by modifying patient behavior and providing remote monitoring to improve long-term health outcomes. Depending on the disease, they can en- courage you to stick to diet and exercise programs and take your medicine. They are tailored to specific ailments like diabe- tes, heart disease, high blood pressure and COPD. Because your behavior is so crucial in preventing and limiting the severity of your illnesses, the early evidence is that these digital health programs, often com- bined with human coaching/interaction, can make a significant difference.

A national survey, COPD In America 2017, of more than 2,000 individuals diagnosed with COPD reveals that people struggle with a range of issues that go be- yond difficulties with breathing. COPD is thought of as just a lung disease, but the diminished oxygen can affect every part of the body, making daily functioning more difficult. The survey reveals the emotional impact of COPD can often take a back seat to the physical challenges, but it is often overwhelming. Problems with anxiety or panic disorders were reported by 51 percent of respondents, and only 40 percent indi- cated their doctor was effective in helping them manage it.

Most respondents said they did not feel confident they could keep the emotional distress caused by COPD from interfering with their lives. In spite of this, only 19 percent said they are currently involved in a COPD support group.

For those of you considering a lung transplant, visit http://tinyurl.com/ ybbhv49c to compare centers that perform the surgery. Four medical centers were listed as having outcomes that were better than expected: St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ; Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO; University of California Medi- cal Center at San Francisco; and University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.

Researchers have shown actions of a type of white blood cell, called neutrophils, change when people have COPD. Normally neutrophils remove bacteria from the lungs and cause no damage to the lung itself. A new study reports the neutrophils’ ability to destroy bacteria is greatly reduced in COPD while being much more damaging to the lung causing frequent chest infections. It is now hoped that medications can be developed to prevent this problem from happening.