Lung disease study update given to EU
Professor delivers presentation on COPD
An update on a study into an incurable lung disease prevalent in Dumfries and Galloway has been presented to the European Parliament.
COPD, a combination of chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma and emphysema, is particularly widespread in the region where admissions linked to the diseases are among the highest in the UK.
Professor John Lockhart, of the University of the West of Scotland, is part of the £7.7 million BREATH project which has received EU backing to look at addressing the causes, treatment and prevention of the disease.
After the presentation, Prof Lockhart (pictured) said: “COPD is the third biggest killer in Scotland with numbers continuing to rise.
“This exciting new collaborative programme will provide major insights into lung disease in southwest Scotland, where COPD is particularly prevalent.
“This will help identify better treatments and possible preventions and also enhance public awareness.”
As well as UWS scientists, the BREATH team includes a worldclass cluster of researchers including NHS Dumfries and Galloway and a cross-border partnership with the Dundalk Institute of Technology and Queen’s University, Belfast.
Dr Gary Litherland, of UWS’s Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Reseach, said: “The huge burden of COPD must be addressed by research effort on an ambitious scale and EU funding support is essential to realise this.
“Increased awareness of COPD in badly affected regions such as south-west Scotland is also vital.
“BREATH was highlighted during a recent debate on COPD brought to the Scottish Parliament by MSP Emma Harper. Such national recognition will help us to engage intended beneficiaries in our mission to combat this ‘unknown killer’ disease.”
South of Scotland MSP Ms Harper, convener of the cross-party group on lung health, believes innovative interventions and ideas are key to tackling lung conditions such as COPD.