Sugar element of keratan sulfate halts the progress of emphysema

Using a mouse model, scientists from the RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center for Systems Chemical Biology and a number of other institutes have identified a sugar molecule that reduced the inflammatory response and progress of emphysema, a common component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to Naoyuki Taniguchi, the leader of the group, this discovery could lead to the development of drugs based on glycans—biological sugar molecules—for the treatment of diseases such as COPD, which is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.

Wnt of change in COPD research

Neuherberg – In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the patients’ lungs lose their ability to repair damages on their own. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) now have a new idea as to why this might be so. In the ‘Journal of Experimental Medicine’, they blame the molecule Wnt5a for this problem.

Reverse frailty through rehabilitation

One in four patients with COPD referred for exercise rehabilitation are frail, but nevertheless can respond favourably to rehabilitation and their frailty can be reversed, finds a new study led by King’s College London and Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. The findings have wider implications for treating frailty, which affects one in ten over-65s, where adapting other rehabilitation programmes could potentially benefit more patients.