COPD is a leading cause of death worldwide, and was the third top cause of disease-related mortality in the U.S. in 2014.
Current COPD treatments are symptomatic and supportive, but do not address the disease’s underlying causes. Researchers are looking at numerous new concepts in the development of COPD, from the potential role of proteases to the oxidative stress caused by cigarette smoking, infection due to latent viruses. They are also studying known mechanisms that might play a role in COPD development and progression, like mucus hypersecretion, programmed-cell death (called apoptosis), and the role of blood vessels. They are also looking at treatments of possible relevance to COPD like alveolar regeneration and general disease characteristics in a search for new treatments, like identifying new blood biomarkers, genetics and inflammation.1
This section offers readers more information into this ongoing research work.
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