Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease with increasing occurrence especially in Western countries. Although deaths in Germany are only occasionally, an asthmatic disease may be associated with significant limitations in the quality of life. The same is true for allergies such as hay fever and food allergies.
Focus in ARCN:
The DZL is establishing the Children’s Asthma Registry (Kinder-Register Asthma, KIRA) where children are observed and clinically characterized over a period of several years. It aims to find factors that raise the possibility to predict the course of disease and render it controllable. Actually, asthmatic symptoms of many people who suffer in their childhood vanish until adolescence – in others symptoms persist. The reasons for this difference is unknown. Therefore, the transition from childhood to adult age should be a particular focus of KIRA.
In addition, we are recruiting patients for the adult registry (Erwachsenen-Register Asthma, ERA). Results from ERA will be compared with those of the children’s registry.
The work in the registries is flanked by a strong basic research. In animal models (fruit fly and mouse) asthma- and allergy-inducing factors should be identified. One aspect in focus is the so-called exacerbation (an acute worsening of the disease). Different cell types involved in the allergic reaction are studied in cell culture models and analyzed with biomolecular techniques.