MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Giovanni Piedimonte, MD
Steven and Nancy Calabrese Endowed Chair for Excellence in Pediatric Care, Research, and Education
Professor & Chair of Pediatrics
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: This study proves that asthmatic children already have a hyperactive calcium channel that’s extremely sensitive to environmental triggers.
If these children contract a virus, such as RSV, the hyperactive channel causes more severe symptoms that may require care in a hospital setting.
When a child developed asthma or bronchitis in the past, doctors thought these conditions could only be triggered by environmental allergens. There was no explanation why two out of three children ages five and under who wheeze and cough – and still test negative for allergies.
We needed to explore the mechanisms of the calcium molecule and the epithelial cells, which seem to trigger these symptoms without an allergic reaction. If the molecule’s behavior is producing the cough, we just need to figure out how to control the molecule to properly deactivate the cough mechanism in the asthmatic child
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers away from your report?
Response: Cough does not receive the attention it deserves. One thing that characterizes humans is the ability to cough.
Unfortunately, we currently do not have good therapies for cough, and most of the available cough medications contain opioids.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cough medicines should not be prescribed or used for children under six years of age. These products can have potentially serious side effects and they do not treat the problem – they just numb the system.
Moreover, an FDA advisory committee recently declared ‘nearly unanimously that the risks of using certain opioids in children’s cough medications outweighs the benefits.’ If one day we can understand better the mechanism of cough, we can generate medications that control it in a physiological way.”
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Terri J. Harford, Fariba Rezaee, Rachel G. Scheraga, Mitchell A. Olman, Giovanni Piedimonte. Asthma predisposition and respiratory syncytial virus infection modulate transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 function in children’s airways. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.07.015
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