On this special episode of Health Matters, we revisit the conversation with Dr. Ben Smith about why some lungs are more resilient to infection than others.
(Time on podcast: 11:45) Lung health is a hot topic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Ben Smith speaks to lung diseases and how they are a persistent problem throughout the world. We often focus on people who have a lung disease. But, in Dr. Ben Smith’s research, he decided to look at people who don’t develop lung diseases. From studying healthy patients ,they found that certain types of lungs seems resistant to developing disease, while others were susceptible. This was found by studying the shape of people’s airways. People with large airway trees were less susceptible to developing lung diseases even if they smoked their whole lives. The question is therefore how can we better promote resilient lungs? This variation in tree structure matters quite a bit when it comes to susceptibility to developing a lung disease. We are now considering whether this variation in airway structure could impact how inhaled medications are dispersed within the lungs. This may make medication delivery less efficient in some patients depending on the structure of their airway trees. This leads us into a new area of personalized medicine. The future needs better and safer methods to image the lung so that we can better study resilient lungs.
Listen to the Podcast
Highlighting research excellence. The MUHC Foundation’s Health Matters. August 1, 2021.