Lung dis­ease study up­date given to EU

Pro­fes­sor de­liv­ers pre­sen­ta­tion on COPD

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - INTIMATION­S - Ben Ra­m­age

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.

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