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 COPD Support News June 25, 2010
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Posted - Jun 25 2010 :  09:31:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Volume 10, Issue 30
June 25, 2010

Patients who encounter serious lung diseases in middle age, despite an absence of family history or other predisposing factors, may still have their genes to blame, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"Earlier reports have indicated a correlation between certain nontuberculous mycobacterial respiratory infections and specific gene abnormalities," noted lead author Kenneth Olivier, M.D., M.P.H., NIAID staff clinician. "The results of this study confirm the correlation, and indicate the usefulness of simple testing in identifying these abnormalities, especially in an older population."

The study focused on the movement of cilia, the tiny hair-like filaments that line the respiratory tract. In normal respiration, cilia help move dust and other fine particles out of the airway, keeping passages clear of harmful bacteria and other pathogens. When cilia are altered as the result of genetic mutation, they may fail to function properly, allowing disease-causing bacteria to build up. "Genetic abnormalities in this clearance mechanism may predispose some older individuals to the development of certain pulmonary diseases, even though those individuals do not appear to have any predisposing factors," Dr. Olivier said.

Physicians can determine whether patients are at risk of the cilia not functioning correctly through a simple, noninvasive test that measures the levels of nitric oxide produced in the nose and sinuses. In patients who are predisposed to nontuberculous lung diseases, Dr. Olivier noted nitric oxide levels significantly lower than those of healthy individuals. Source: American Thoracic Society (ATS)


SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.

Feat might one day help those with lung diseases, researchers say. By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter. Scientists have succeeded in fashioning a new, healthy lung out of the structural remains of an old one in rats. The researchers, reporting in the June 25 issue of Science, hope one day to replicate the feat in humans, giving hope to the millions of people with cystic fibrosis, emphysema, COPD and perhaps even lung cancer. But that could take as long as 20 or 25 years to accomplish, warned study author Thomas Petersen, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. "What we're talking about is still science fiction, although we're a lot closer now," added Dr. Neil Schachter, a professor of pulmonary medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Petersen and his colleagues started with a normal rat lung, then treated it chemically to remove all the cells, a process known as decellularization. This left them with just the lung scaffolding, including the all-important airways and blood network. "We retained the overall structure of the lung but it was completely free of all cells, as well as components that would be detected by the body as foreign, meaning that the scaffold would not be rejected were you to do a transplant," Petersen explained...The team then seeded the scaffold with blood vessel cells and airway cells, and then grew the lungs in a bioreactor for about a week. During the culture period, the lungs were made to "breathe" mechanically.

The process would be much the same in humans, starting with replicating the scaffolding, then repopulating it with new cells. "The more challenging thing will be to identify the right cells and this will probably involve using stem cells derived from a particular patient," Petersen said.

A separate group of researchers also reporting in Science were able to create an artificial "lung on a chip," basically a miniature model of a working human lung made from cultured human cells from lung and blood vessels. The manufactured "lung" is about the size of a coin or a pencil eraser.

People age 40 or older with COPD may be eligible to participate in a clinical research study to evaluate the effect of a combination of two experimental (investigational) medicines.

Participation in the study involves 11 visits over one year to UI Hospitals and Clinics. Visits will last one to four hours and will include blood and urine tests, pulmonary function tests, ECG and chest X-rays. Participants will receive study-related laboratory evaluations, study-related physical exams and study medications at no cost. Compensation also will be provided.

For more information, call 319-356-3240 or 877-428-0635 or email

From Alan Cohen: I would like to mention this and it might help others. I was diagnosed with COPD as a result of Agent Orange. I sleep with Oxygen and use it almost 24x7. In one year I was hospitalized 3 times for having an attack even though I was on Oxygen. My doctor prescribed a nebulizer which I use 3 times a day with albuteral. I firmly believe these treatments have kept me out of the hospital.

I have had attacks, but I put the mask on turn the oxygen up on my converter and it generally takes about 20 to 30 minutes and I am back to normal. I also take the other powder inhalers i.e. Spiriva, Foradil, Asmanex and the emergency inhaler.

This has enabled me to work, and I also have a battery powered nebulizer which I can use in the car or at work if the need arises.

COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or non) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine for the first time have determined that bone marrow cells play a critical role in fighting respiratory viruses, making the bone marrow a potential therapeutic target, especially in people with compromised immune systems. They have found that during infections of the respiratory tract, cells produced by the bone marrow are instructed by proteins to migrate to the lungs to help fight infection. Led by Carolina Lopez, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the research team evaluated the immune response to influenza infection in the lung and blood of mice. The team found that in the days following infection the lung became inflamed and produced interferons, or infection-fighting proteins, a message that alerted bone marrow cells of the presence of the virus and signaled them to prepare to fight the infection. The researchers determined that many new cells generated in the bone marrow enter the infected lung to help fight infection. The data are published in the current issue of Cell Host & Microbe

By Alyssa Sparacino. Lung function of people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be as low as 15 to 20 percent capacity of a pair of healthy lungs, Dr. David Mannino, member of the American Thoracic Society, told AOL Health. Diagnosing COPD is critical in order for a patient to live a healthy and active life and reduce their risk of complications or death from the debilitating condition. Mannino, who is also the director of the Pulmonary Epidemiology Research Laboratory at the University of Kentucky, told AOL Health how a patient is diagnosed with COPD and how doctors reach that conclusion.

Factors to Consider: Doctors will question patients about their health and lifestyle history, such as if they smoke or what their working environment is like. They will also discuss any respiratory symptoms the patient is experiencing. They will look to the results of lung function tests and a patient's response to treatment to determine if they do in fact have COPD. It's also possible that the symptoms a patient is complaining of are the result of asthma, not COPD, however it's more likely that the patient actually suffers from both asthma as well as COPD. More at:

MEDICAL DECISIONS. Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonoligist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has been trained to diagnose and advise.

A Fox news video. COPD can destroy normal lung tissue, making it difficult to breathe. To treat it, doctors often give patients IVs full of high doses of steroids but that can have many undesirable side effects

A tricky lung disease, by Amanda Gardner. COPD is a common problem—”24 million people in the U.S. are thought to have it—but few peopple have a grasp of what it is. In fact, half of the people who have COPD don’t even know it. Why? COPD symptoms can creep up gradually or be mistaken for something else, such as a cough, allergies, cold, flu, or other less serious ailments. If you have COPD, you have emphysema or chronic bronchitis, or—most often—both.,,20388301,00.html?xid=ha-hot-topic-link

Warren V. Filley, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, gave us the lowdown on some of the most common allergy-causing plants and trees, and how to spot them.,,20352313_1,00.html

JOIN US? Subscription to this Newsletter is free and we hope that it serves your needs. For more Newsletter information, go to:

The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs, is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc. a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at:

Musings from the Desert...and how to get free Kindle Reading Apps software from Jim Nelson, former Contributing Editor to the COPD News:

" I have been playing with publishing some of my older works on Amazon's Kindle Ebook platform. I have two books on their site so far, and am working on several others. The fun part is, you don't have to own a Kindle reader to purchase, download, and read them! There is software available on the Amazon website for free download that will allow you to read them on a PC, a Mac, an iphone, an ipad, or a Blackberry. Just go to the Kindle Store, look for Kindle Reading Apps, and you should be able to find the downloads.

Free Reading Apps: Free Kindle Reading Apps for your PC, Mac, iphone, BlackBerry, and iPad.

The two books up now are:

THE CASE OF THE BLUE CHICKEN - Some of you may remember this one. It is a satire, a spoof of every spy and detective novel ever written. It features a severely underemployed Private Detective, a beautiful but mentally uncomplicated heiress, and a somewhat undocumented maid. There are also Russian spies, Soviet submarines, three million dollars in small bills, and a nefarious plot to turn the continental United States into radioactive gravel.

SURVIVAL is an action/adventure novel set mostly in Western Colorado. It tells the story of a botched crime, an abduction, a much-needed vacation, and the interactions of a diverse group of people, each involved in their own desperate fight for survival. Also, just to make things interesting, an entirely different element appears.

Just go to the Kindle Store and search for Jim Nelson. There are other authors named Jim Nelson, and I'm sure that they are very nice, but they don't love you like I do! None of my electronic books will sell for more than $9.99.

What's so special about July?

Fun Quizzes: Take Fun Quizzes is the place to -- well -- take fun quizzes. Take Fun Quizzes has hundreds of Flash quizzes, personality quizzes and fun quiz games!

How NERDY are You?
Have you been recently called a geek, a dork, a NERD? Do you want to be a nerd, geek, or dork? Well, this test is for you! This highly advanced 'test' will determine once and for all how nerdy you are. Upon completion, you will be given a score (out of 100) as to just how nerdy you are, plus a nifty little graphic and link that you can share with your friends (if you have any) so they can see how they measure up!

Until next Friday,

Joan Costello, Editor

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Please keep in mind that all posts are from COPD patients / caregivers
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