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Additional Information From NIAID

Asthma

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NIAID’s Role in Asthma Research

Girl half way down a slide, with playmate close behind.
©istockphoto

NIAID-supported investigators are working to prevent asthma from occurring in people and to develop new, better treatments for those who are currently affected.

Current basic, preclinical, and clinical research aims to

  • Investigate the role of the immune system in the development, treatment, and prevention of asthma
  • Determine how infections and immune responses to infections may contribute to the development or worsening of asthma
  • Understand the role that environmental allergens and pollution may play in the development and worsening of asthma
  • Improve current treatments and develop new ones that reduce or eliminate the response of the immune system to environmental allergens that trigger asthma
  • Develop and validate biomarkers to measure disease stage, progression, and therapeutic effect
  • Identify possible genetic predispositions to the disease and how they may affect disease development
  • Define the natural history and unique mechanisms associated with asthma onset and severity, especially in children living in inner-city environments
  • Understand the relationship between asthma and upper respiratory diseases such as rhinitis(inflammation of the nose) and rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the nose and sinuses)

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Last Updated March 11, 2011

Last Reviewed November 19, 2010