New way to diagnose asthma

I came across this article a couple weeks ago about researchers at University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus finding a new way to test for asthma.  One of the difficulties of being diagnosed or treated, is actually being able to replicate your problem in the doctor’s office.  My symptoms are always worse at night time, but when I see my doctor it’s usually between 9am and 3pm.

The Key To Asthma Diagnosis Is In The Blood

I don’t fully understand what the process is, but according to the article they do a blood test to check the levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, in your body.  In the past the process to do this type of test required a large amount of blood and special equipment.

Traditionally, a clinical study of neutrophils required so much blood work, specialized equipment and processing that it was impractical to use in diagnostics. However, UW-Madison students developed the kit-on-a-lid-assay (KOALA) microfluidic technology, which allows them to detect neutrophils using just a single drop of blood.

This is very cool and I kind of wonder how long until I’ll be doing a blood test to check in on the status of my asthma management.  I don’t know if the groups of researchers are working together, but I do know one of the SARP sites is at UW Madison.  This is the quality and type of development being done through the Severe Asthma Research Program and I’m proud to be a part of it.