January 28, 2000

FORT WORTH – Texas â?? Two asthma studies for children are being conducted at the UNT Health Science Center, and researchers are seeking children 24 months to 47 months to enroll in the study.

The asthma study will be testing a medication currently used for asthma in patients over the age of 6. This study seeks to lower the approved age use of the medication.

This research study addresses the use of preventive asthma therapy in an age group for which there is few options. The goal is to show less hospitalizations, decreased need for rescue medications and less frequent visits to the emergency room. Currently there is only one preventive medication available for children in this age group, but it is administered four times a day.

Asthma medications help reduce underlying inflammation in the airways and relieve or prevent narrowing of the airways. Control of inflammation should lead to reduction in airway sensitivity and help prevent airway obstruction.

Study participants must meet age requirements and have a history of asthma and a previous need for rescue medications for eligibility in the study. The principal investigator for the study is Dr. Alan Levine, a pediatrician at the UNT Health Science Centerâ??s Pediatric Clinic.

Enrollment will continue at the health science center until 10-20 children are participating in the study. Approximately 30 sites in the country will be enrolling study participants.

Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness among children. Of the approximate 17 million asthmatics in the country, almost one third of them are children under 18 years of age. Most children have mild to moderate problems, and their illness can be controlled by treatment at home or in the doctor’s office. The estimated annual cost of treating asthma in those under 18 years of age is $3.2 billion.

All study-related medication, tests and exams will be provided free of charge. In many cases, volunteers are compensated for their time and travel expenses. Those interested can discuss clinical research participation with their doctor and call the Office of Clinical Trials at (817) 735-0256.

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