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University of Iowa Has Breakthrough in Asthma Research

IOWA CITY (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- For billions of asthma sufferers, inhalers are a big relief.
Its the gold standard, said Joel Kline, M.D., Director of the University of Iowas Asthma Center. Its the backbone of our treatment.
For years, steroid inhalers have been one of the few ways to help those having an asthma attack breathe. 
But a new finding from researchers at UI may take asthma treatment to another level.
We would be able to particularly help those who are in the greatest need, Kline said.
Researchers have linked the enzyme CaMKII found in the airway lining of humans to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath and muscle spasms.
 We think its really at the heart of most asthma problems, Kline said.
Problems they say may be helped by developing medicine to block the enzyme.
Blocking this protein helps relax the airway muscles, so it decreases or is likely to decrease shortness of breath, Isabella Grumbach, M.D., associate professor of medicine at UI.
Researchers say while inhalers work, they dont work as well on those with severe asthma.
Thats really where the unmet need is in asthma, Kline said. The people who are not currently appropriately treated.
So theyre hoping this discovery will lead to medicine which will one day help many breathe easier. 
We feel that if were able to control the inflammation in most patients wed be able to control their disease, Kline said.
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