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Science
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PROGRAMME INFO
Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
Contact Case Notes
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 14 March
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 14 March 2006
Girl with inhaler

Full programme transcript >>

Asthma

Over 5 million people in the UK have asthma, and it's been on the increase for the past three decades. Dr Mark Porter investigates a pioneering method of accurately diagnosing the condition and he finds out if there will ever be a vaccine available. Plus what can be done for people who develop abnormal breathing patterns all the time?

Symptoms
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways that carry air in and out of the lungs. When someone is having an attack the muscle around the walls of the airways tightens and the airway narrows and becomes inflamed. The patient then gets short of breath, may have a tight feeling in the chest and coughs or wheezes.

Triggers
A wide variety of things in the environment can set off asthma attacks, from tobacco smoke to chemicals used in the workplace. In the programme Mark Porter will be asking if there is evidence that the more hygienic life we lead these days is playing a part in the increase in asthma. Or are doctors keener than before to give a diagnosis of the condition?

Treatment
Some people with chronic asthma are reluctant to take medicines all the time. Mark Porter will be talking to a GP who is developing new ways of assessing when a patient needs to be on medication. He's also investigating whether giving breathing exercises and forms of physiotherapy can alleviate the symptoms of asthma.

And the guest in the studio will be a pharmacologist who is researching better medicines for this condition.

University of Southampton
Do you have problems with asthma or overbreathing?

Have you ever thought about taking part in research?

Researchers at the School of Health Professions & Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Southampton are looking for people to take part in non-invasive therapeutic type studies. We are currently recruiting:

Anyone with a diagnosis of asthma for more than one year, or with a diagnosis of hyperventilation syndrome (aged 18 - 65 years).

The study is non-invasive (no needles or drugs). You will be asked to answer some questions about your health and then learn some breathing techniques. If you are willing to take part you will be invited to attend the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at Southampton General Hospital .

If you are interested in taking part please contact Anne Bruton on 023 8059 5283 or email ab7@soton.ac.uk for further information.

Local Research Ethics Committee number 05/Q1702/44

Check Up - this week 
NB: Check Up this week is also on asthma. Barbara Myers' guest is a GP with a special interest in the management of the condition.

Next week: Hernia
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