Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deep Breaths Reduce Wheezing, But Only In Non-Asthmatics

Date:
March 19, 1998
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Johns Hopkins researchers have new evidence supporting a controversial theory that asthma is partially caused by the failure of deep breaths to relax constricted lung muscles enough to let in more air.

Johns Hopkins researchers have new evidence supporting a controversial theory that asthma is partially caused by the failure of deep breaths to relax constricted lung muscles enough to let in more air.

Related Articles


Hopkins researchers exposed asthmatics and non-asthmatics to a drug that makes lung muscles contract, as happens in asthma. They found that non-asthmatics could reduce their reaction to the drug dramatically by taking five deep breaths before exposure, but asthmatics experienced little or no improvement from the deep breaths.

The new finding, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will be announced this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. It reinforces the results of a 1995 study at Hopkins that used a similar test to show that prohibiting deep breaths increases asthma-like symptoms in non-asthmatics.

"If we can learn more about the mechanisms that create this relaxation of lung muscles, there's a good chance we will be able to use that information to develop new ways to monitor or treat asthma," says Alkis Togias, M.D., who led the study.

Asthma occurs when muscles that line air passages of the lungs become constricted, impairing breathing. Scientists have speculated this results from an unusual reaction by lung muscles to inhaled irritants or allergens, such as pollutants or pollen.

But Togias and others believe that lung muscles in asthmatics and non-asthmatics constrict the same way in response to irritants. They think non-asthmatics can use deep breaths to relax the muscles and open up air passages, while asthmatics can't.

To test the idea, Togias exposed 9 healthy volunteers and 8 asthmatics to methacholine, a drug that makes asthmatics wheeze but normally produces little or no reaction in non-asthmatics. By increasing the dose, Togias reduced non-asthmatics' ability to expel air from their lungs by an average of 25 percent. He also determined how much of the drug was needed to produce the same effect in asthmatics.

His team then exposed each group to methacholine three times. Each time the subject was asked to take no deep breaths for 20 minutes before exposure. On some occasions, though, they were allowed to take several deep breaths immediately prior to inhaling the drug.

Two deep breaths reduced the effects of the methacholine exposure by nearly 66 percent in non-asthmatics. Five deep breaths reduced the effects by approximately 80 percent.

For the asthmatics, though, deep breaths only produced a slight worsening of the methacholine's effects.

Other authors of the presentation were Trisevgeni Kapsali and Solbert Permutt.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Deep Breaths Reduce Wheezing, But Only In Non-Asthmatics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980319071512.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (1998, March 19). Deep Breaths Reduce Wheezing, But Only In Non-Asthmatics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980319071512.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Deep Breaths Reduce Wheezing, But Only In Non-Asthmatics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980319071512.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins