Curcumin a component of turmeric, which is derived from Curcuma longa is used as a colouring agent and as a dietary spice for centuries. Extensive studies have been done on the anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin along with its molecular mechanism involving different signalling pathways. However, the physicochemical and biological properties such as poor solubility and rapid metabolism of curcumin have led to low bioavailability and hence limits its application. Current therapies for asthma such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are aimed at controlling disease symptoms and prevent asthma exacerbation. However, this approach requires lifetime therapy and is associated with a constellation of side effects. This creates a clear unmet medical need and there is an urgent demand for new and more-effective treatments. The present study is aimed to formulate liposomes containing curcumin and evaluate for its anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation on BCi-NS1.1 cell line. Curcumin and salbutamol liposomes were formulated using lipid hydration method. The prepared liposomes were characterized in terms of particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency and in-vitro release profile. The liposomes were tested on BCI-NS1.1 cell line to evaluate its anti-inflammatory properties. The various pro-inflammatory markers studied were Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-8 (IL-8), Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and Tumour Necrosis Factor-a (TNF-a). Additionally, molecular mechanics simulations were used to elucidate the positioning, energy minimization, and aqueous dispersion of the liposomal architecture involving lecithin and curcumin. The prepared curcumin formulation showed an average size and zeta potential of 271.3 ± 3.06 nm and -61.0 mV, respectively. The drug encapsulation efficiency of liposomal curcumin is 81.1%. Both curcumin-loaded liposomes formulation (1 μg/mL, 5 μg/mL) resulted in significant (p asthma therapy showing their efficacy in suppressing the important pro-inflammatory markers involved in the pathogenesis of asthma.
PURPOSE: Asthma is a global health problem, and asthma prevalence in Asia is increasing. The REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience Asia study assessed patients' perception of asthma control and attitudes toward treatment in an accessible, real-life adult Asian population.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: An online survey of 2,467 patients with asthma from eight Asian countries/regions, aged 18-50 years, showed greater than or equal to two prescriptions in previous 2 years and access to social media. Patients were asked about their asthma symptoms, exacerbations and treatment type, views and perceptions of asthma control, attitudes toward asthma management, and sources of asthma information.
RESULTS: Patients had a mean age of 34.2 (±7.4) years and were diagnosed with asthma for 12.5 (±9.7) years. Half had the Global Initiative for Asthma-defined uncontrolled asthma. During the previous year, 38% of patients visited the emergency department, 33% were hospitalized, and 73% had greater than or equal to one course of oral corticosteroids. About 90% of patients felt that their asthma was under control, 82% considered their condition as not serious, and 59% were concerned about their condition. In all, 66% of patients viewed asthma control as managing attacks and 24% saw it as an absence of or minimal symptoms. About 14% of patients who correctly identified their controller inhalers had controlled asthma compared to 6% who could not.
CONCLUSION: Patients consistently overestimated their level of asthma control contrary to what their symptoms suggest. They perceived control as management of exacerbations, reflective of a crisis-oriented mind-set. Interventions can leverage on patients' trust in health care providers and desire for self-management via a new language to generate a paradigm shift toward symptom control and preventive care.
KEYWORDS: asthma control; attitudes; perception
OBJECTIVE: There are few studies on fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and respiratory symptoms among adults in tropical areas. The aim was to study associations between FeNO and selected personal factors, respiratory symptoms, allergies, office characteristics and indoor office exposures among office workers (n = 460) from a university in Malaysia.
METHODS: Information on health was collected by a questionnaire, skin prick test and FeNO measurement. Temperature, relative air humidity, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide were measured in the offices. Settled dust was vacuumed in the offices and analyzed for endotoxin, (1,3)-β-glucan and house dust mites allergens, namely Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1) and Dermatophagoides farinae (Der f 1). Two-level linear mixed models and multiple logistic regression were used to analyze the associations.
RESULTS: One-fourth (25.9%) of the office workers had elevated FeNO level (≥ 25 ppb) and 61.5% had HDM, cat, seafood or pollen allergy. Male gender (p < 0.001), current smoking (p = 0.037), height (p < 0.001) and atopy (p < 0.001) were associated with FeNO. The amount of vacuumed dust was associated with FeNO among atopic subjects (p = 0.009). Asthma and rhinitis symptoms were associated with FeNO (p < 0.05), especially among atopic subjects. In particular, a combination of atopy and elevated FeNO were associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma (p < 0.001), rhinitis (p < 0.001) and airway symptoms last 12 months (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Gender, smoking, height and atopy are important risk factors for elevated FeNO levels. A combination of allergy testing and FeNO measurement could be useful in respiratory illness epidemiology studies and patient investigations in tropical areas.
KEYWORDS: Adults; Malaysia; allergy; office; respiratory symptoms; rhinitis; tropical areas
Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is a common condition affecting 12-15% of the population. Ninety percent of asthmatic individuals and 35-45% of patients with allergic rhinitis are afflicted by EIA, while 3-10% of the general population is also believed to suffer from this condition. EIA is a condition which is more prevalent in strenuous outdoor, cold weather and winter sports. The pathophysiology of EIA continues to intrigue medical physiologists. However, the water-loss hypothesis and the post-exertional airway-rewarming hypothesis are as yet the best accepted theories. EIA is best diagnosed by a good medical history and a free-run challenge test. A post-exertion decrease by 15% in FEV1 and PEFR is diagnostic of EIA. Sensitivity of exercise testing ranges from 55% to 80% while specificity is as high as 93%. EIA is a disorder that can be successfully treated by combining both non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment options. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of this condition is vital if we hope to provide our patients with better overall health, better social life and a better self-image.
Asthma is a global public health problem and the most common chronic disease among children. The factors associated with the condition are diverse, and environmental factors appear to be the leading cause of asthma exacerbation and its worsening disease burden. However, it remains unknown how changes in the environment affect asthma over time, and how temporal or environmental factors predict asthma events. The methodologies for forecasting asthma and other similar chronic conditions are not comprehensively documented anywhere to account for semistructured noncausal forecasting approaches. This paper highlights and discusses practical issues associated with asthma and the environment, and suggests possible approaches for developing decision-making tools in the form of semistructured black-box models, which is relatively new for asthma. Two statistical methods which can potentially be used in predictive modeling and health forecasting for both anticipated and peak events are suggested. Importantly, this paper attempts to bridge the areas of epidemiology, environmental medicine and exposure risks, and health services provision. The ideas discussed herein will support the development and implementation of early warning systems for chronic respiratory conditions in large populations, and ultimately lead to better decision-making tools for improving health service delivery.
Many studies have been done to evaluate the effect of various natural products in controlling asthma symptoms. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is known to contain active compounds that have beneficial effects on human health and diseases. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of VCO inhalation on airway remodelling in a rabbit model of allergic asthma. The effects of VCO inhalation on infiltration of airway inflammatory cells, airway structures, goblet cell hyperplasia, and cell proliferation following ovalbumin induction were evaluated. Allergic asthma was induced by a combination of ovalbumin and alum injection and/or followed by ovalbumin inhalation. The effect of VCO inhalation was then evaluated via the rescue or the preventive route. Percentage of inflammatory cells infiltration, thickness of epithelium and mucosa regions, and the numbers of goblet and proliferative cells were reduced in the rescue group but not in preventive group. Analysis using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry found that lauric acid and capric acid were among the most abundant fatty acids present in the sample. Significant improvement was observed in rescue route in alleviating the asthma symptoms, which indicates the VCO was able to relieve asthma-related symptoms more than preventing the onset of asthma.
Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the pulmonary airways. Gelam honey has been proven to possess anti-inflammatory property with great potential to treat an inflammatory condition. However, the effect of ingestion of Gelam honey on allergic asthma has never been studied. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Gelam honey on the histopathological changes in the lungs of a mice model of allergic asthma. Forty-two Balb/c mice were divided into seven groups: control, I, II, III, IV, V and VI group. All groups except the control were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin. Mice in groups I, II, III, IV, and V were given honey at a dose of 10% (v/v), 40% (v/v) and 80% (v/v), dexamethasone 3 mg/kg, and phosphate buffered saline (vehicle) respectively, orally once a day for 5 days of the challenged period. Mice were sacrificed 24 h after the last OVA challenged and the lungs were evaluated for histopathological changes by light microscopy. All histopathological parameters such as epithelium thickness, the number of mast cell and mucus expression in Group III significantly improved when compared to Group VI except for subepithelial smooth muscle thickness (p asthma.
Asthma is a chronic reversible respiratory problem commonly seen by Family Physicians. Pregnancy can produce physiological and physical changes that can affect the severity of asthma and its management. Conversely poorly controlled asthmatic attacks can result in adverse obstetric outcome: prematurity, low birth weight babies, foetal hypoxia and increased maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality. It is important that Family Physicians should be able to manage competently and provide appropriate counseling for women with asthma in pregnancy, labour and lactation. Assessment of asthma control using a peak flow meter is recommended. The use of the usual inhaled and oral corticosteroids, beta 2 agonists, cromones and anticholinergics are generally safe in pregnancy, labour and lactation. But methylxanthines should be used with caution. Women should be advised that asthma medication would not adversely affect their unborn babies and the birth outcome of well-controlled asthmatic women approaches that of the normal population but uncontrolled asthma would be detrimental to the health of mother and child.