Researcher Barbro Melgert of the UG and her colleague René Lutter from the AMC Amsterdam are deliberately infecting thirty people with COPD and asthma with a mild variant of the common cold. The result with these people will be a minor lung attack, but for Melgert and Lutter this is an essential step in their research on lung attacks.
During a lung attack, the lungs stop functioning properly. People get so short of breath that they cannot breathe properly any more. The symptoms occur very suddenly, usually during a cold, and are very severe. Patients often have to go to hospital to be given extra oxygen. A lung attack is one of the most important causes of death for lung patients, but why some lung patients hjave an attack during a cold while others do not is still a mystery. Melgert and Lutter hope that their research, funded by the Longfonds (Lung Fund), will provide more insight into lung attacks, and in the long run result in the development of a new drug.
Longaanval voorkomen [Preventing lung attacks], a Dutch article on Melgert's research
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