Asthma and Allergies

By: Tyler Sparks and Thiago Andrade

Introduction

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways that carry air into and out of the lungs. Depending on the person, certain things that surround you in your typical day can trigger your lungs to become irritated and swell which could complicate your typical breathing, such as pollen and typical pets. People with asthma experience frequent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, and excessive mucus. So one of the basic questions everyone is probably asking ¨Who can get asthma?¨Children under the age of 5, and adults typically in their thirties have a higher possibility of developing asthma although anyone at anytime is capable of developing it.

Cell Signaling Pathway Involved

Asthma is caused by a sub-group of white blood cells more commonly known as T cells. Once the T Cells secrete a certain set of immune signaling proteins (cytokines) inflame the lungs, chest and cause wheezing. An asthma attack occurs when T Cells overreact to allergens such as pollen or other antigens. T-cells however are created through a process known as mitosis.
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Correct Mechanism

Asthma is caused by the ¨double narrowing¨ of the bronchi, however once the bronchi reaches the stage of becoming too narrow or even obstructed, due to inflammation and spasms the traits of Asthma begin to develop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can asthma be cured?

At this time there is in fact no cure for asthma, however with proper treatment it can be controlled. People diagnosed with asthma typically use an inhaler multiple times a day while also taking medication that could relieve some symptoms they are experiencing.

Do I have Asthma? How would I know?

The symptoms of asthma greatly resemble other bronchial diseases, which sometimes makes diagnosing it more of a challenge. However asthma is commonly ¨under diagnosed¨ which simply means that so many people experience very similar symptoms and never bring it to there physicians attention so go through life without the proper medication and treatment. Patients that have been diagnosed however go through a series of an in depth physical examination, laboratory tests (including a spirometry, peak flow monitoring, chest x-rays, and blood and allergy tests)

Incorrect Mechanism

An incorrect mechanism can consist of Asthma resulting of a TH1 and TH2 imbalance of a smooth muscle cell, along with the swelling of the inner lining, increased sticy mucus or secretions in the airways produced by they mucus glands known as inflammation, and the muscles going into a spasm. Spasm´s however only occur when there is inflammation. Lastly, when the bronchi becomes too narrow and are partially obstructed due to inflammation and a spasm.

Graphics of Pathway

Allergic Asthma causes airway obstruction, inflammation, and hyper responsiveness. Airways become hyper responsive to stimuli including growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular matrix proteins.Children with asthma go through a rigorous process in order to cure it. The first step of course would be to go to a triage center, determine the severity level of the asthma exaggeration, determine if it is mild, moderate or severe. Asses a plan, and treat the child in the best and most humane way possible.

Current Direction of Research

Although there is no single cause for asthma, research continues to progress in hopes to one day find a cure for allergic asthma, and possibly increase patient compliance with proper medication. For the time being, if you ever seem to notice any of the asthmatic symptoms please notify your family physician and begin to the treatment plan to hopefully prevent your lungs from further damage.