For the first time, scientists have identified more than 500 new genes associated with lung function, allowing them to better understand lung disease.
The team hypothesized that the findings pave the way for potential new treatments for conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. It also highlights existing drugs that can be rapidly repurposed.
The study, led by the University of Leicester and the University of Nottingham, is the largest and most diverse of its kind, analyzing genome data from 580,869 participants from around the world. Genomic information has been collected in numerous studies around the world.
The study’s lead investigator, Professor Martin Tobin, from the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Leicester, said: “This is a huge jump in the size and ethnic diversity of the population that we have been able to study before, and it’s a huge step forward. in the number of related genetic variants that we found.”
He added: “For now, the risk scores we have developed are important tools for further research, but in the future, this may help guide the selection of which drugs may be most effective for individual patients and which drugs should be avoided.”
Lung function tests analyze how well organs move air in and out of the body. In conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, this is complicated by narrowing of the airways.
Chronic respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are the third leading cause of death worldwide.
It is important to identify the genes involved in lung function because these genes contain proteins that are targeted by drugs to prevent or treat disease.
Using a new approach, the study identified 559 new genes involved in lung function with more confidence than ever before.
Scientists say this is a huge boost as they try to understand which drugs can help improve lung health and which can worsen it.
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