Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media



Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Disease Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM



Can Nicotine Help Treat a Chronic Lung Disease?

By Staff Editor
Aug 28, 2017 - 11:36:14 AM



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust


Email this article
 Printer friendly page

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - COLUMBUS, Ohio – Doctors believe there is some good to be found in nicotine, the highly addictive drug in tobacco products. Lung experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are testing whether nicotine can help people with a chronic inflammatory lung disease called sarcoidosis.

“It’s tricky because it mimics other diseases. It’s frequently misdiagnosed. Sarcoidosis can look like lung nodules, pneumonia, scar tissue, even lung cancer. It can involve other vital organs, and it differs from one person to the next,” said Dr. Elliott Crouser, a pulmonologist specializing in sarcoidosis.

Left untreated, the disease can cause severe lung damage and even death. Unlike most lung diseases, the main symptom isn’t shortness of breath, but debilitating fatigue. Current treatments such as steroids often have side effects harsher than the symptoms of the disease itself.

“We can’t use the medications for very long before these side effects occur. They can be severe, such as the development of osteoporosis, cataracts, diabetes or high blood pressure and complications related to those,” Crouser said. “We need better, more tolerable options.”

So Crouser is leading a clinical trial at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center to test nicotine patches, normally used to help people stop smoking, as a potential treatment for sarcoidosis. A small initial study of the patches showed some benefit, and now Crouser is conducting a larger, randomized trial. The Cleveland Clinic is also participating in the study.

“Why nicotine? Around 2000, we learned two things. There was new evidence that nicotine is an anti-inflammatory, and from other studies we discovered smokers were less likely to get sarcoidosis,” Crouser said. “So we’re testing whether nicotine can be a solution. We hope people will actually get a secondary benefit - not only will their lung disease get better, but they’ll feel more energized and have better quality of life.”

Trial participants are randomized to receive a patch with nicotine or a placebo for seven months. Researchers will evaluate lung function using computerized axial tomography (CAT scans) along with computer models to monitor disease progression or improvement.

No one knows exactly what causes sarcoidosis, but experts believe it’s related to an environmental exposure. Because symptoms vary widely, it’s still unclear what triggers the disease. Many patients can recover from sarcoidosis, or go into remission. For some, it’s a chronic condition.

“There isn’t a lot of data on the disease but we are learning more about it. We know black women are at higher risk but we don’t know why,” Crouser said. “We’re seeing more cases diagnosed overall. We think that might be from increased awareness of the disease among the healthcare community and the use of more sensitive screening tests, such as CAT scans, which improves the detection of the disease. It is also possible that something in the environment is triggering more cases of sarcoidosis.  More research is needed to better understand the disease and to improve the current standards of care.”

To learn more or see if you are eligible for the trial: https://studysearch.osumc.edu/studies/1658

###



Top of Page

HealthNewsDigest.com

Disease
Latest Headlines


+ Common Fungus Helps Dengue Virus Thrive in Mosquitoes
+ Genetic Mutation Causes ‘Vicious Cycle’ in Most Common Form of ALS
+ Can Diet Help Reduce Disability, Symptoms of MS?
+ Kidney Disease Diagnosis May Benefit from DNA Sequencing
+ New TB Drugs Possible with Understanding of Old Antibiotic
+ Changes in Bacterial Mix Linked to Antibiotics Increase Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
+ New Simple Test Could Help Cystic Fibrosis Patients Find Best Treatment
+ Discovery of a Promising Medication for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
+ 5 Myths About COPD
+ Parasites Suck It Up



Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions