Millions of individuals throughout the world suffer from asthma which is a chronic respiratory ailment. For many, the onset of asthma can be a life-changing experience, marked by sudden and unexpected breathing difficulties, wheezing, and coughing fits. It is a condition that can be triggered by a variety of factors, including environmental allergens, respiratory infections, and stress. Despite the prevalence of asthma, the onset of this condition remains a complex and poorly understood phenomenon that presents significant challenges for both patients and healthcare providers. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the onset of asthma and examine the latest research and innovations in asthma management carried out by Dr. Amarjit Mishra Ex-Assistant Professor of Auburn University.
The onset of asthma refers to the time when a person first develops asthma symptoms or receives a diagnosis of asthma. Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that typically develops in childhood, but it can also appear for the first time in adulthood. The onset of asthma is characterized by symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. These symptoms can vary in severity and frequency depending on the individual and can be triggered by various factors, including allergens, exercise, respiratory infections, and environmental irritants. Early recognition of asthma symptoms and prompt treatment can help manage the condition and prevent exacerbations.
Several critical risk factors
- Genetics: Asthma has a significant genetic component, and a family history of asthma increases the risk of developing the condition. However, the precise genetic mechanisms that contribute to asthma are not fully understood.
- Environmental allergens: Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mold can trigger asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals. Allergen avoidance measures, such as using dust mite-proof covers on bedding and minimizing exposure to pets can help reduce the risk of asthma exacerbations.
- Air pollution: Exposure to outdoor air pollution, such as vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, has been linked to an increased risk of asthma. Indoor air pollution from sources such as tobacco smoke, wood-burning stoves, and household cleaning products can also trigger asthma symptoms.
- Respiratory infections: Viral respiratory infections, particularly those caused by a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus, are a significant risk factor for the development of asthma in children. Reducing exposure to infectious agents through vaccination and hand hygiene can help reduce the risk of asthma exacerbations.
- Obesity: Obesity has been identified as a risk factor for the development and severity of asthma. The exact mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood but may be related to the effects of obesity on lung function and inflammation.
- Occupational exposures: Certain occupational exposures, such as exposure to dust, chemicals, and fumes, can increase the risk of developing asthma. Proper protective equipment and workplace safety measures can help reduce the risk of occupational asthma.
- Stress: Emotional stress can trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals, although the mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood. Stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation and relaxation exercises may help reduce the risk of asthma exacerbations.
Besides these macro factors that influence the onset of asthma in a patient, it has been identified that asthma has also been a result of various cellular processes. The management of the onset of asthma thus can be improved by appropriate research-based intervention in understanding the underlying causes of risk factors that influence the onset of Asthma on a cellular level. In this direction, some major work has been carried out by a prominent scientist Dr. Amarjit Mishra, an Ex-Assistant Profess at Auburn University.
Some major works by Dr. Amarjit Mishra
Dr. Amarjit Mishra is a dedicated researcher who has conducted several investigations to explore further the mechanisms associated with the onset of asthma. Dr. Amarjit Mishra, an Ex-assistant professor at Auburn University, is interested in learning more about the lesser-known origins and processes of the pulmonary pathways. Dr. Amarjit has devoted a substantial chunk of his studies to asthma pathobiology. In one of his latest studies, Dr. Mishra focused on understanding the Th1/Th17 immune regulation in severe allergic asthma. In a study supported by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Amarjit Mishra focused on the identification of the lung metabolite itaconate and its particular function in the Th1/Th17 immune response. With his research, he discovered that researching T cells can contribute to the development of novel pathways underlying the inflammatory processes in severe asthma. The innate immune response in the lung begins with the formation of mucus and the formation of the epithelial barrier, which is later reinforced by phagocytic cells and T cells. Dr. Mishra has undertaken extensive research to better understand the many aspects of the innate immune response, with a particular emphasis on how Th cells contribute significantly to lung inflammation and associated immunological systems. As a consequence, he and his colleagues discovered for the first time that the Irg1/itaconate pathway in DC governs the beginning of type 2 airway inflammation. They recommended itaconate as a possible therapeutic target for allergic asthma management.
In addition to this study on understanding the onset of asthma, Dr. Amarjit Mishra, Ex-Assistant Professor of Auburn University has conducted research on novel pharmaceutical targeting of Th1/Th2/Th17 lung immune pathways. With the identification of Th17 cells, researchers discovered a remarkable proclivity for functional variety, or plasticity, which appears to be a characteristic of this pathway. Th17 cells retain the flexibility to have diverse cytokine expression profiles and function after committing to the Th17 pathway, as opposed to Th1 and Th2 cells, which are more stable after maturation from naïve progenitors. This appears to be connected to Th17 cells’ capacity to survive for long periods of time while retaining the ability to create functionally different products when triggered by antigen, which is related to their preservation of more stem cell-like properties.
Overall, a deep understanding of the onset of asthma and its management requires a multifaceted approach that includes identifying and avoiding triggers, using appropriate medications, and monitoring symptoms closely to prevent exacerbations.