New test can distinguish asthma from allergies with just one drop of blood

Posted: 4/10/2014

From Healthline:

Reaching for an inhaler to relieve the coughing and wheezing associated with chronic asthma is easy, but knowing whether it's being used to treat the right condition has not been as simple. Now, researchers from the University of Wisconsin have found a biomarker that determines whether someone is suffering from asthma or an allergy. Their study was published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

To find the asthma-related biomarker, researchers looked to the immune system and white blood cells known as neutrophils, which moved more slowly across a chemotactic gradient in asthmatic patients than they did in nonasthmatic patients. Chemotaxis is the movement of cells caused by a chemical stimulant. Read more.