A New Kind of Gene is Identified as the Cause of Asthma in Children


A rogue gene has been found as a possible direct cause of asthma in children, offering many of them hope for better treatment or even an effective cure. A faulty gene may weaken or even cause abnormalities in airways lining, triggering severe allergic reactions to environmental factors, researchers said. They hope that the finding could allow the medical community to form more targeted treatments for affected individuals. In essence, asthma is a complex condition and it could involve many interacting causes. To narrow down the scope of the research, the team concentrated on a certain asthma phenotype; recurrent and severe occurring in children between ages 2 and 6.

The identification risk-susceptibility gene with possible link to this phenotype could lead to more targeted, effective treatments for this kind of childhood asthma. The CDHR3 is the newest gene known to be associated with asthma; while three others have been widely known. It is believed to be closely associated with the epithelial cells, which act as the liner of airways inner surface. The CDHR3 is also closely related to a group of proteins involved in cell-to-cell interaction and cell adhesion. It’s quite plausible that any variation in the gene could disrupt the normal functions in the airway cells. This could make children more susceptible to asthma. Researchers found this after making comparisons of genomes from about 3,700 children and adults in Denmark. Other researchers have shown increasingly significant interest in how airway epithelium could affect the development of asthma.

This has further strengthened arguments on the role of hereditary factors in the development of asthma in children. Many affected children come from a family with incidences of asthmas. But aside from genetic influences there are other things that could be associated with the development. Some children could develop the condition if they are constantly exposed to allergens. Allergy is a significant factor in the development of asthma among children. Also children who have specific respiratory problems like rhinitis and sinusitis are also more at risk of getting asthma. Asthma attacks are largely caused inflammation of the airways and genetics are not the only factor.

Although it’s widely believed that asthma caused by genetics factors is harder to treat, parents could still do some useful things. Controlled and well managed child asthma could lead to significant improvements in quality of life. Once children learn how to respond to asthma attacks, they could be more confident and productive.