ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Sleep and Do Better
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Drink Away Dementia?
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
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Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma

TUESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- A substance secreted by eczema-damaged skin might trigger asthma in children, U.S. researchers suggest.

The theory comes from a study of mice with an eczema-like condition, which suggested that early treatment of eczema and inhibition of the trigger substance might help prevent asthma.

An estimated 50 percent to 70 percent of children with severe eczema, known as atopic dermatitis, develop asthma, compared with about 9 percent of children in the general population. In the United States, about 17 percent of children have eczema, although not all cases are severe.

The progression from eczema to asthma is called the atopic march.

"Over the years, the clinical community has struggled to explain atopic march," Raphael Kopan, a professor of developmental biology and dermatology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and an author of the study, said in a news release from the school.

"So, when we found that the skin of mice with an eczema-like condition produced a substance previously implicated in asthma, we decided to investigate further," Kopan said. "We found that the mice also suffered from asthma-like responses to inhaled allergens, implicating the substance, called TSLP, as the link between eczema and asthma."

The researchers found that TSLP (thylmic stromal lymphopoietin) is secreted by damaged skin to alert the body that the skin's protective barrier has failed. TSLP activates an immune response that fights invaders.

"We are excited, because we've narrowed down the problem of atopic march to one molecule," Kopan said. "We've shown that skin can act as a signaling organ and drive allergic inflammation in the lung by releasing TSLP. Now, it will be important to address how to prevent defective skin from producing TSLP."

"If that can be done," she said, "the link between eczema and asthma could be broken."

The study appears May 19 in the journal PLoS Biology.

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has more about eczema.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, news release, May 18, 2009

Last Updated: May 19, 2009

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