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The Genomic Basis of
Asthma

We do not know exactly what causes asthma, but scientists believe that genetic make-up combined with environmental and lifestyle factors may be at play. The Genuity Science asthma research study aims to explore this relationship between genomics, asthma, and environmental/lifestyle factors to identify patterns that will help deepen our understanding of the disease.

Genuity Science is working to bridge the knowledge gap

It is estimated that in Ireland 470,000 people have asthma making Ireland the fourth highest prevalence for asthma in the world. Symptom severity and response to treatment vary significantly from person to person. In Ireland, asthma accounts for approximately 20,000 emergency department attendances and 5,000 hospital admissions per year1. This genomics study will develop a comprehensive research resource on asthma that may have the ability to identify differences and similarities between disease mechanism in participants with asthma or Asthma COPD Overlap (ACO). People with severe asthma or ACO are a particularly challenging asthma subsets who tend to experience more serious health impacts such as poor lung function, reduced exercise tolerance, increased exacerbation rates, hospitalisation, and increased mortality.

This study aims to research how genes, environment and lifestyle influence disease risk, disease subtype, disease progression and response to treatment. Enhancing our knowledge will accelerate the development of novel therapeutics and strategies, ultimately resulting in better treatments available to patients such as those with severe asthma and ACO.

Aims of the Genuity Science Asthma Study

  • to understand why some people develop asthma and others do not
  • to determine why some people develop non-severe asthma while others developed severe asthma uncontrolled by existing medications 
  • to identify significant lifestyle or environmental triggers among those with the disease
  • to identify genetic markers that will help with the early diagnosis of asthma, identify people at risk of more severe forms, and through our partnerships, identify new or more effective treatments for people with severe asthma.  

Genomics Medicine for Precision Health

A genetic biomarker is described as a known DNA sequence that causes disease or is associated with susceptibility to disease. Using genetic biomarkers to predict the severity of asthma for a person as well as how that person is likely to respond to treatment would tremendously improve our ability to manage the disease for that patient. Precision health is about prescribing an individual patient with the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time. This would allow for earlier intervention and the increased potential to slow progression.

Asthma and Classification

Asthma is a complex respiratory disease, characterized by chronic airway inflammation. Symptom severity, frequency and response to treatment vary from person to person. Asthma is classified based on respiratory symptoms such as wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness and/or cough and by airflow limitation.

Genuity Science's Asthma Research Study

The Genuity Science asthma study is a population-based study, which means the data is grouped with thousands of other participants with asthma so that researchers can identify patterns that may help answer some important questions about the disease. This exploration of genetic and environmental risk factors, as well as the biological processes associated with asthma will contribute to a better overall understanding of asthma, paving the way for the development of new treatments and earlier intervention therapies for patients.

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