A recent study has shown how genetics and pollution stimulate the severity of asthma symptoms. The research team also discovered that asthma patients who lack this genetic profile do not have the same sensitivity to traffic pollution and do not experience severe asthma symptoms.
Co-lead author Shepherd Schurman stated that the results were based on genetic variation, the subtle differences in DNA that make each person unique. He further said that in order to understand the concept, one must think of human genes, which consist of DNA base pairs A, C, G and T, as written instructions for making proteins.
"All people have the same genes, in other words, the same basic instructions, but in some people one DNA base pair has changed," Schurman said. "This common type of genetic variation is called a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP and it can change the way proteins are made and cause people to become more or less susceptible to disease."
The researchers explained that SNPs are usually studied one by one, but they wanted to learn whether different combinations of these SNPs could, in addition to exposure to pollution, aggravate the symptoms of a person with an inflammatory disease such as asthma. .
The researchers found that asthma patients who had hyper-reactions and lived closer to heavily traveled roads had the worst asthma symptoms, such as breathing problems, chest pain, cough and wheezing, compared to the other groups. In contrast, asthmatic patients who were hypo-responders and who lived away from busy roads had milder symptoms.
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Published: September 3, 2018 7:35 am | Updated: September 3, 2018 7:39 pm