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Research indicates single gene responsible for asthma, allergies

When children are diagnosed with respiratory ailments like asthma, environmental conditions are often one of the first things physicians look at as a determining cause. While there is little doubt that air quality can play a role in a child's likelihood of developing asthma, scientists believe that a single genetic abnormality may be predominantly responsible for the illness, reports Time magazine.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine recently discovered that the same genetic aberration that causes Marfan and Loeys-Dietz syndromes, two highly rare tissue disorders, could also be responsible for virtually all allergy-related conditions, including asthma. Individuals with Marfan and Loeys-Dietz syndromes tend to have a much higher sensitivity to environmental allergens, which led the researchers to investigate the possible link.

"We found that these patients had a very high risk of developing not just one allergy, but all forms of allergic disease," said Pamela Frischmeyer-Guerrerio, an immunologist and lead author of the study, as quoted by HealthDay. 

Further research will ultimately determine whether genetics plays a definitive role in people's likelihood of developing asthma and other allergic diseases. Regardless, individuals who want to minimize their exposure to airborne irritants may want to invest in an IQAir HealthPro Plus medical-grade air filtration system.