CRICBristol hosts Children of the 90s asthma study
22 August 2017
Two hundred and fifty young people involved in Children of the 90s will be attending clinics at CRICBristol, to help researchers better understand the different causes of asthma. The study began in June 2017, and is likely to continue for about a year.
There are many unanswered questions about what causes asthma and, while the condition can be managed successfully, current treatments do not work for up to half of patients. Researchers think this may be because there are different types of asthma.
Most people with asthma have inflammation in their air passages but there are different types of inflammation with different causes and, for some people with asthma, there may be something affecting how their nervous system controls their airways.
The young people who have volunteered for the study are completing a series of tests at CRICBristol, which includes giving blood, sputum and nasal washing samples.
Researchers are analysing these samples for inflammatory cells and chemicals produced by the body in response to inflammation, and are extracting genetic material to see if genes activated in sputum in asthma differ from those in the blood.
This research is EU-funded through the Horizon 2020 scheme and is being led by Professor Neil Pearce from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The local principal investigator is Professor John Henderson, Chair of the ALSPAC board and Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine.
The study also involves young people in Brazil; Ecuador; New Zealand; and Uganda. This will allow researchers to gather data from richer and poorer countries where the causes of asthma may differ, and ultimately, to develop more effective ways to prevent and treat asthma.
Based at the University of Bristol, Children of the 90s is a world-leading birth cohort study. Between April 1991 and December 1992, more than 14,000 pregnant women were recruited into the study and these women, the children arising from the pregnancy, and their partners have been followed up intensively over two decades.
Children of the 90s is the most detailed study of its kind in the world, providing the international research community with a rich resource for the study of the environmental and genetic factors that affect a person’s health and development.
You can read more information about the project on the European Commission’s Community Research and Development Information Service website.