Asthma is the most commonly observed chronic disease in childhood and the incidence has been increasing in industrialized countries over the last decades. Airway obstruction due to increased sensitivity of the small airways, mucus production and chronic inflammation are key features in the pathophysiology of asthma. Environmental and genetic factors predispose for the disease, which is clinically characterized by sudden occurrence of episodes of expiratory airway obstruction (wheezing). In the majority of preschool infants such obstructive episodes are triggered by viral infections (especially during the winter season) and do not necessarily predispose for asthma later in adulthood. Patient and family history (e.g. atopy), good clinical examination and differential diagnosis (e.g. exclusion of cystic fibrosis) are of prime importance as the role of lung function measurements is limited as the disease frequently occurs before the age of 5 years. Information about asthma is important for children, parents and caregivers. Acute and chronic medication should control asthma symptoms and allow the affected child to lead a normal life including physical exercise.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)