Respiratory News

A professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, has invented a hand-held breath monitor designed to detect the flu virus, similar to the breathalyzers used by police officers. Semiconductor sensors similar to those in a household carbon monoxide detector isolate biomarkers associated with the flu virus and indicate whether or not the person has the flu.

Researchers from the United Kingdom have found Vitamin D may help people with severe asthma avoid exacerbations or “flare- ups” of the disease. Taking oral Vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of emergency visits and severe asthma attacks.

Exciting news, the University of Virginia reports asthma drugs could prevent a form of pneumonia that can be fatal for up to 40 percent of the people who contract it. Influenza pneumonia is caused by a virus and is spread deep into the lungs. Accolate and Singulair® could prevent the infection from advancing into the lower respiratory tract.

A cancer therapy now in clinical trials may prevent the progression of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). Researchers discovered a mol- ecule that promotes scarring in the lung that they may be able to inactivate. Still very early in the investigation, more studies are need- ed before clinical trials can be started. The report was published in the journal JCI Insight.

Improved treatments for people with severe asthma are a ‘step closer’ after a re- search team led by the University of Leices- ter in the United Kingdom identified a breakthrough in the cause of airway nar- rowing. Scientists have for the first time discovered that an active form of a key protein, HMGB1, is increased and related to narrowing of the airway in people with severe asthma. The finding, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, will now enable drug makers to specifically target the protein in future treatment for non-allergy related asthma.

As you know, your oxygen needs are different when you are active, compared to when you are at rest. Yet so many oxygen users stay on the same liter flow setting no matter what they are doing. Many fear they will forget to turn it back down and will use up their portable sup- ply. A recent study in Respiratory Care, looked at a product called FreeO2 (shown below) developed by a company called OxyNov that automatically adjusts oxygen flow rates based on your needs. Unfortunate- ly, it is not yet available in the United States but you can find out more information at