Major causes of COPD are smoking, occupational exposure to dust and chemicals, and heredity. Some COPD research indicates that chronic viral infection is a COPD trigger. In a major COPD breakthrough, researchers have cracked the first part of the molecular code that links viral infection to development of COPD. Research data established a significant relationship between COPD and evidence of rhinovirus, influenza virus, and para influenza virus infection.
Another COPD breakthrough is the finding that triple therapy cuts the exacerbations of COPD symptoms in half. Triple therapy includes a regimen of a long-acting β-agonist (LABA), an inhaled corticosteroid, and an antimuscarinic agent. This COPD research was conducted on 600 patients having moderate to severe symptoms of COPD.
An important understanding gained in COPD research is the correlation between a decline in the lung’s antioxidant defense system and the progress of COPD. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discovered that expression of a gene NRF2 significantly decreased in smokers with advanced COPD as compared to smokers without COPD.
As per the latest information on COPD medications, roflumilast has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Daily intake of roflumilast helps decrease the frequency of COPD exacerbations (flare-ups) and prevents worsening of COPD symptoms. Roflumilast is a class 4 drug to treat COPD.
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