As I eluded to in my last post, Dr. Wenzel along with the folks at the University of Pittsburgh’s Asthma Institute, have taken an interest in my case and have invited me to participate as a research subject in the Severe Asthma Research Program. The SARP is one of the most comprehensive studies of severe asthmatics ever undertaken. My study is scheduled for the 3rd week in November.
The project I’ll be involved in is titled : Inflammation, Myofibroblasts and Loss of Elastic Recoil in Severe Asthma.The Severe Asthma Research Program ( SARP for short), is a collaborative research effort involving 4 different Universities, each adding their own research specialties to the mix. The basic goal of the SARP is to determine what make “severe” asthma different than the moderate of mild forms of the disease. The information they gain by studying people like me, is added to their already extensive asthma database, which is available to lung researchers worldwide.
It’s an exhaustive study, involving several days of testing which includes; full pulmonary function testing and spirometry, allergy testing, spiral CT imaging, blood, sputum and DNA analysis…etc etc. They’re also going to do a bronchoscopy on me to look around inside my lungs and take tissue samples. The only part of the study I’m not too crazy about, is having to spending a night in the hospital following the bronchoscopy. They do this of course, just to be safe and to make sure that my asthma doesn’t worsened after being bronched.
I’m paying for all of my own travel expenses to Pennsylvania, but in return, the research program will be spending 10’s of thousands of dollars in the name of science to see what makes me tick, which I think is pretty cool. And though I probably wont benefit directly from the research, it gives me great satisfaction knowing I can contribute in someway to developing a better understanding of this awful disease.
I think the study is through invitation only, but if anyone out there with severe asthma is interested in volunteering , and can travel to one of the test sites, I’m sure the researchers would appreciate it. Here’s a link to the consent form , which includes many more details of the study.
PS……Remember this one?