Asthma, depression and microbiomes to be studied in new Alberta lab

Assistant professor at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry Paul Forsythe was named Monday to head the research chair in asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease, a chair founded by AstraZeneca Canada Inc.

The pharmaceutical company’s investment will help hire postdocs and bachelor’s graduates in addition to purchasing equipment to establish a world-class research team, according to a statement from the University.

AstraZeneca Canada President Kiersten Combs is delighted with this partnership with the University of Alberta. I believe this research on the connection between lung health and mental health is going to be very important in the future.

Paul Forsythe abounds in the same direction and considers that this track deserves to be deepened. This idea of ​​a connection between the lungs and the brain […] is really undervalued.

Paul Forsythe therefore thinks that there is a vicious circle between these two bodies. For example, psychological stress can make asthma symptoms worse, and in turn, people with asthma are more likely to develop psychological stress.

The goal of our laboratory is to break this vicious circle between the body and the brainconcludes Forsythe.

A link between microbiomes and mood?

Microbiomes can be altered during childhood for multiple reasons, says Paul Forsythe. An alteration of these can do the same to posts sent to the brain through the neural pathways of the organs. This can then lead to the development of inflammatory diseases or depression, he says.

We know that childhood microbiomes are a key determinant of long-term health, but we don’t really understand this process.explains Paul Forsythe.

Part of the team’s research led by Paul Forsythe will be to understand how the brain controls inflammation in the lungs and the link between lung disease and mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.

We need to learn more [à ce sujet] if we really want to be able to do therapeutic interventions. This is the purpose of this labhe added.

The assistant professor hopes to develop new methods to treat these ailments, in particular by electrical stimulation of certain nerves to change the messages sent to the brain.

With information from Craig Ryan

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