Leicester study could pave the way for new treatments for lung diseases

  • by Jennifer Harby
  • bbc news

image source, fake images


The scientists said the study built the best picture yet of how our genes affect our lung health.

A study that academics say is the largest and most diverse of its kind could pave the way for potential new treatments for lung diseases.

The global study, led by the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham, linked more than 500 new genes to lung function for the first time.

The study analyzed genome data from 580,869 participants around the world.

The scientists said it built the best picture yet of how our genes affect our lung health.

The study, led by the University of Leicester and the University of Nottingham, was able to identify 559 new genes involved in lung function.

Those behind it said it represented a big boost for scientists as they sought to understand which drugs can help improve lung health and also which drugs can worsen lung health.

‘One big leap’

They said the findings could pave the way for potential new treatments to address conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, and highlight existing drugs that could be quickly repurposed.

Chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD, are the third leading cause of death worldwide.

The study’s principal investigator, Professor Martin Tobin, from the University of Leicester’s department of population health sciences, said: “This is a huge leap in terms of the size and ethnic diversity of the populations we’ve been able to study. before”. and it’s a big step in the number of associated genetic variants we’ve discovered.

“The findings from our genetic research can be used to generate individual risk scores that could personalize medicine.

“At this stage, the risk scores we developed form important tools for future research, but in the future they could help select which drugs might be most effective for individual patients and which drugs should be avoided.”

‘important’ inclusion

The study combined genomic information from multiple research studies around the world.

University of Nottingham Senior Lecturer Ian Hall said: “The inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds in genetic research is important to ensure that all groups of people benefit from the advances in prevention and treatment that such research can bring. .

“However, at present, the majority of people in genetic studies are of white origin.

“Moving forward, we urgently need more studies in different ethnic groups to provide the sample sizes needed to really advance the field.”


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