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Physiology in Medicine review article. Asthma is the most chronic disease in westernized countries. Patients with asthma have an underlying chronic inflammation which underlies the typical symptoms of asthma, which include intermittent wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Inflammation in asthma is characterized by the increased expression of multiple inflammatory genes, including those encoding for cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, and inflammatory enzymes and receptors. Corticosteroids are the most effective treatment for asthma because they suppress the chronic airway inflammation in patients with asthma, and the molecular mechanisms involved begin elucidating.
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