Researchers in the US have identified differences at the genetic level which could explain why some children with asthma do not respond to treatment.
The study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, involved the analysis of cells collected from the noses of children with acute asthma.
Scientists looked at the genetic behaviour of these cells as well as the children’s responses to corticosteroids, a common type of medication used to treat asthma.
The researchers found a specific gene, known as VNN-1, that seemed to be linked to whether a child would respond well or not to the medication.
This information could be used to improve treatment for children with asthma in a number of ways. For example, it could help identify the children who may not respond to this type of medication, and it could also be used as a target for new treatments to help this group of children manage their symptoms.
The scientists are now doing further research to find out more about the role of this gene.
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