Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

820 Words May 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Currently the 4th leading cause of mortality worldwide, COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is reported to account for more than three million deaths per year 1 and is estimated to rank fifth in disease burden in 20202. The Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines updated their definition of COPD in 2006 as “a preventable and treatable disease with some significant extra-pulmonary effects that may contribute to the severity in individual patients. Its pulmonary component is characterised by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. The airflow limitation is usually progressive and associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles or gases”3.
COPD is characterized by a spectrum of diseases namely: chronic bronchitis, obstructive bronchiolitis, emphysema, pulmonary vascular disease, cor pulmonale or the abnormal enlargement of the right side of the heart as a consequence of the malfunctioning of the lungs or pulmonary blood vessels, muscle weakness, and cachexia or the eventual wasting of the body due to chronic illness4. Our research mainly focusses on the emphysema phenotype of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Among many other risk factors, cigarette smoke exposure plays a major role in COPD, progressively affecting 15% of smokers2. Apart from being a complex concoction of 4700 chemical compounds, cigarette smoke extract can also increase endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) in…
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