Discovery of Breathing Molecule May Help Treat Sleep Apnea

Scientists are looking for better ways to treat patients with respiratory conditions. New findings, published by researchers in England, offer additional hope for developing targeted treatments for these patients. The British researchers have announced the discovery of a breathing molecule. It is believed that the molecule exists in the body to detect carbon dioxide levels and in response activate the body’s system for releasing the unwanted gas. The discovery allows scientists to better understand the human body’s involuntary respiratory responses which are vital to life. It appears that the molecule may also mutate leading to a number of serious conditions. Some persons at risk for certain respiratory conditions, may have a mutated version of this molecule. Working to better understand the breathing molecule and its mutations may lead to new and better treatments.

Key Points:

  • 1Better treatment options for respiratory conditions, especially sleep apnea, could be possible with the discovery of the breathing molecule Connexin26 (Cx26).
  • 2Cx26 identifies CO2 levels in the blood and then activates the muscles necessary for breathing. This is the vital process of preserving life.
  • 3The Cx26 molecule can mutate which causes it to not properly function anymore. Scientists are working on ways to reverse the mutation and restore function.

This new research could lead to better treatment options for respiratory conditions and even deafness because physicians will be able to target the problem more accurately.

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