At the moment all you can do if you have asthma is reduce the symptoms.

However, a breakthrough by scientists means they are hopeful they can find a way of turning off the gene that causes it.

Researchers from the UK’s University of Southampton discovered a gene called ADAM33 can cause asthma by making the airways more narrow.

It does this by getting the body to produce an enzyme that usually helps to regrow damaged muscles.

In people who suffer asthma, however, it ”goes rogue” and makes new muscle sand blood vessels build where they don’t need to, which makes the airways narrower.

This is called ‘airway remodelling’ and was previously believed to be caused mainly by allergens such as pollen.

Now scientists believe that although allergies can make the airways more inflamed, it is the gene that makes them narrow, to begin with.


So far, the scientists have experimented on humans using dust mites, a common irritant for people with asthma.

They found that when the gene was turned off, the allergens had less of an impact.

Prof Hans Michel Haitichi said ”This finding radically alters our understanding of the field, to say the least.

‘For years we have thought that airway remodelling is the result of the inflammation caused by an allergic reaction, but our research tells us otherwise.’

‘We believe that if you block ADAM33 from going rogue or you stop its activity if it does go rogue, asthma could be prevented.’

It is not known when the cure will be readily available. 

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