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New technique reveals insights into lung disease
Date:12/13/2007

nction measurements.

This combination of clinical and technical expertise of has created a very powerful partnership.

The pulmonary alveolus is the most peripheral structure within the air spaces of the lung, in which the gases carbon dioxide and oxygen move between the air and the blood. There are said to be about 500 million alveoli in the adult lung, and they have a combined surface area equivalent to about one tennis court. All the alveoli are formed by the age of three years, so early illnesses and exposures may leave children at risk of later lung disease.

COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly known as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This is a degenerative lung condition, enhanced by smoking, in adults beyond middle age.

Professor Owers-Bradley added: We are seeking evidence that in young people and teenagers, the sensitive techniques that we are developing can detect differences in lung microstructure caused during fetal prenatal development, by early childhood disease or by environmental factors. For example, we have already observed the impact smoking and passive smoking on alveolar structure in an adult study which will now be extended to teenagers.

We aim to establish a link between the health of the lungs during childhood and later degenerative lung disease (COPD) and then seek the specific factors genetic or environmental which lead to defective lung development.


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Contact: Professor John Owers-Bradley
john.owers-bradley@nottingham.ac.uk
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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