Asthma: a scientific breakthrough in Ghent
Belgian researchers have made a crucial discovery that could help to combat the disease.
Research in Ghent has revealed the role of the Charcot-Leyden crystals (CLC) that are present in the respiratory tracts of asthma patients. The Belgian scientists have succeeded in producing antibodies able not only to dissolve these crystals in mice in just a few minutes, but also to relieve the symptoms of the disease.
The Charcot-Leyden crystals come from the destruction of white blood cells fighting allergens and parasites. They are present in the secretions of asthma sufferers and cause an inflammatory response. The antibodies produced by the team of researchers seem very efficient in fighting this inflammation and the build-up of mucus in the lungs of patients.
There are currently no medications able to treat these symptoms of the disease. Further tests are still required, but we can expect this major discovery to be a key turning point in the preparation of asthma treatments.