Respiratory News

A type of plant-produced chemicals known as flavonoids found in dark-pigmented fruits like red grapes and blueberries may slow the lung function decline that occurs with aging, according to new research by John Hopkins researchers. Anthocyanins, the type of flavonoid investigated in the current study, appear to reduce mucus and inflammatory secretions and had slowed the rate of decline of lung function.

For those looking for information on stem cell therapy, you may read current techni- cal medical reports published in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation at 10.15326/jcopdf.5.2.2018.0140

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed two complaints in federal court seeking permanent injunctions to stop two stem cell clinics from marketing their stem cell products without FDA approval and for significant deviations from current good manufacturing practice requirements. A permanent injunction is being sought against US Stem Cell Clinic of Sunrise, FL, and Cal- ifornia Stem Cell Treatment Center Inc., in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills, CA.

Research with mice shows blocking a pro- tein that stimulates the production of white blood cells could prevent the destructive inflammation of COPD. These white blood cells called neutrophils and macrophages fight lung infections but can also attack the lungs’ elastic fibers. A new study, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, opens the way for what could be the first treatment that actually prevents the disease from pro- gressing, and provides a new biomarker to screen people for much earlier diagnosis. For more information on the University of Melbourne research visit www.futurity. org/lungs-copd-inflammation-1752872-2/ More research with mice in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine found blocking a cellular pathway related to cholesterol metabolism shows early promise in treating COPD.

Three-quarters of COPD cases have their origins in poor lung function pathways beginning in childhood. These pathways are associated with exposures in childhood, and amplified by factors in adulthood, according to a study published in The Lancet Respira- tory Medicine journal. While smoking re- mains the biggest risk factor for COPD, the study demonstrates that childhood illnesses (such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, eczema) and exposures to pa- rental smoking are also linked to the disease.

Researchers at the University of Ports- mouth found the blood thinner heparin significantly improves lung function and breathing in those with COPD. The hepa- rin is turned into an aerosol, which can be inhaled through a face mask twice a day for three weeks. It thins mucus in the airways and also acts as an anti-inflammatory. It’s not clear yet whether the drug will need to be used every day, or just when symptoms are particularly bad. The researchers are now planning a trial to see if heparin inhaled daily can benefit those with cystic fibrosis.