Emphysema is a debilitating disease that afflicts more than three million Americans. The disease is caused primarily by smoking and leads to a progressive, irreversible breakdown of lung tissue. This breakdown reduces the amount of lung tissue available for gas exchange and also impairs the lung's ability to inflate and deflate normally. As the disease advances, the most damaged areas of the lung over inflate within the chest cavity, trapping air and preventing the healthier lung areas from functioning normally. Eventually breathing becomes more difficult, leaving patients constantly feeling out-of-breath.
Research shows that inhibiting necroptosis, a form of cell death, could be a novel therapeutic approach for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung condition, also known as emphysema, that makes it difficult to breathe.
Advanced imaging with CT shows that people who cook with biomass fuels like wood are at risk of suffering considerable damage to their lungs from breathing in dangerous concentrations of pollutants and bacterial toxins.
About 30 years ago, Dr. Richard Sifers set out on a journey to discover why people with a rare condition known as alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency present with high variation in the severity of liver disease.