Science

Protein produced by nervous system could help treat inflammatory diseases: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 19, 2020

Shows neuromedin B (NMB) protein can stop inflammation that causes asthma, allergies, chronic fibrosis, COPD

According to a study published in the journal Nature Immunology, researchers have found that neuromedin B (NMB), a protein produced by the nervous system, significantly helps in preventing overactive immune responses and inflammatory diseases.

An immune response refers to the body’s ability to recognise and defend itself against harmful substances.

The study noted that the protein is beneficial to help clear infections.

The researchers found that the NMB protein can stop the type of inflammation that occurs in diseases like asthma, allergies, chronic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Mark C Siracusa, lead author and assistant professor at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, stated in the study, “For many years, the mechanism through which the body shuts down an inflammatory response to heal itself after worm infections remained poorly understood.”

“Our study provided that understanding, and a hope for possible treatments using NMB, which has great potential to treat inflammatory diseases like asthma, allergies, and COPD,” he added.

In the US, COPD is the third-most common cause of death among inflammatory diseases, and allergies the sixth.

“Scientists previously thought the immune system was capable of regulating itself in order to resolve inflammation to prevent tissue damage. However, emerging work is beginning to reveal that complex interactions between the immune system and the nervous system serve to restrict inflammation and promote health,” Siracusa explained.

The next steps for researchers include developing drugs using the protein to treat diseases like asthma, COPD, and allergies.

Published on August 19, 2020

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