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Visit our new Justgiving page

Breathing Matters has a brand new Justgiving page.  We have transferring to a campaign page under the UCLH Charity Justgiving Page.  The new link is: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/breathingmatters  This will save us on Justgiving fees for Breathing Matters, so more of your money goes directly to where it’s needed!

Please visit our new online donation page to donate, or to just have a look-see 🙂

Current open Justgiving pages on our old Justgiving Page will remain active, so you don’t need to do anything.

Together we can do more!

 

Royal Parks Half Marathon – Run for Breathing Matters

Arguably, one of the most stunning half marathons in the UK – the Royal Parks Half Marathon  showcases London’s iconic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Royal Albert Hall running through the capital’s four Royal Parks.  This award-winning event is the only half marathon that goes straight through central London, and its flat course makes it ideal for both beginners and seasoned runners!

It starts and finishes in Hyde Park on Sunday, 13th October 2019.

The ballot has closed for this amazing event, but you can still run for Breathing Matters as we have places available through our charitable partner, Run for Charity.  More information at: https://bit.ly/2U1En6I

Entry fee £50

Minimum pledge £450

To sign up, email us at breathingmatters@ucl.ac.uk

Register by 15th May 2019 to secure your place!

 

Answers to Lung ‘True or False’ Winter 2019 Newsletter Quiz

 

Q: True or False: The left lung has three lobes and the right lung has two lobes?

A: The answer is FALSE. The right lung has THREE lobes and the left lung has TWO lobes

 

Q: True or False: As you age, your lungs hold less air?

A: The answer is TRUE. Your lungs are at their peak with you’re in your 20s to mid-30s.  After that, your diaphragm gets weaker and your lung tissue can’t stretch as well.

 

Q: True or False: At the time of birth, a baby’s lungs are filled with fluid?

A: The answer is TRUE.  At the time of birth, a baby’s lungs are not inflated and are actually filled with a fluid that is secreted by the lungs. When the baby moves out of the birth canal, a sudden change in environment and temperature triggers the first breath which usually takes place 10 seconds after the baby is delivered from the birth canal.

 

Q: True or False: Our lungs can never fully deflate?

A: The answer is TRUE. No matter how hard we exhale, our lungs will always retain one litre of air in the airways. This makes the lungs only human organs that can float on water.

 

Q: True or False: The rib cage helps the lungs to breathe?

A: The answer is FALSE. The diaphragm helps the lungs to breathe.  The diaphragm, located below the lungs, is the major muscle of respiration. It is a large, dome-shaped muscle that contracts rhythmically and continually, and most of the time, involuntarily. Upon inhalation, the diaphragm contracts and flattens and the chest cavity enlarges. This contraction creates a vacuum, which pulls air into the lungs. Upon exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and returns to its domelike shape, and air is forced out of the lungs.

 

 

Winter 2019 Newsletter

Prudential Ride London 100 2019 – Secure your place now

Are you a keen cyclist and want a serious challenge to plan for?  How about the Prudential Ride London 100 on Sunday, 4th August 2019?

Ride London really is a true gem of an event starting at the iconic Olympic VeloPark in Lee Valley, cycling 100 miles of closed roads past London landmarks and through the stunning Surrey countryside (and hills!) and finishing in champion-style at the Mall outside Buckingham Palace!  It’s the UK’s largest world-class festival of cycling.

You don’t have to be an elite cyclist, however, and can choose a start time based at your level – you just need to be able to finish the course in under 9 hours and be over 18.  More info for riders can be found here.

Breathing Matters has a number of guaranteed places for this year’s event.  Registration is £50 and we ask that you raise £450 for Breathing Matters.  Groups of up to 6 are welcome. To sign up, email us at breathingmatters@ucl.ac.uk

The deadline for registration is Tuesday, 1st May 2019, but we expect a lot of interest, so please don’t delay registering your interest with us to secure your place.

 

 

 

2018 Roundup from our Medical Director

I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on another remarkable year for Breathing Matters.  As we reach our 8th year, many of the seeds that we planted in 2011 are bearing fruit.

Our cryoscopic lung biopsy service, allowing us to do relatively non-invasive lung biopsies, continues to flourish and has allowed many of our patients to have a biopsy taken, but avoid the 3 day hospital stay and side-effects of a surgical lung biopsy, by having it all done by ‘key hole’.

We have finally, after many different approaches, shown a role for platelets and blood clotting in pulmonary fibrosis and have some very exciting data that we are submitting for publication in 2019. We have gone on to show that anti-coagulation may have beneficial effects in patients with IPF and we are hoping to take this into a feasibility study in 2019. It will take some years before this has the widespread clinical impact that we hope as there are many hurdles still to negotiate, but I am confident that Breathing Matters will finally answer the question ‘should patients with pulmonary fibrosis be anti-coagulated routinely?’.

However, our major achievement in 2018 in pulmonary fibrosis was the publication of our study of FDG-PET scans in IPF patients, followed for 10 years.  In this tour-de-force that over 150 of our patients took part in, we showed that FDG-PET scans can predict how well individual patients do over time and are able to refine the current scoring systems based on age and lung function. This work has led on to the major pre-occupation of the last few months which has been the submission of a funding request for £400,000 to the National Institute of Health Research to see if FDG-PET can predict which patients should be treated with the drug, nintedanib or pifenidone or neither, and whether using the information from PET scans can improve the quality and length of patients’ lives – which is our ultimate goal.

A potential new vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae, the commonest cause of pneumonia – Streptococcus pneumoniae is the commonest cause of pneumonia, and vaccines to prevent infections by this bacteria are very important for preventing lung infections both in infants and in adults (the elderly and those with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, bronchiectasis, COPD, and interstitial lung disease). However, there is still a need for a better vaccine that is cheaper and effective against all S. pneumoniae strains rather than just a proportion. Making the most effective S. pneumoniae vaccines is expensive as it requires multiple chemical steps that each need to be very carefully controlled to ensure they have worked properly.   Professor Brown’s group, in collaboration with Professor Wren from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, have now shown in a recent scientific paper that an effective vaccine can be made using genetically engineered bacteria, a much simpler and cheaper method.  Furthermore, they also have shown that the vaccine could protect against many more strains than the existing vaccine.  It is hoped that this paper will stimulate investment in the new vaccine approach and eventually lead to the introduction of cheaper but better S. pneumoniae vaccines to help prevent lung infections.  Reglinski et al. ‘A recombinant conjugated pneumococcal vaccine that protects against murine infections with a similar efficacy to Prevnar-13.’  NPJ Vaccines, in press 2018

New study for bronchiectasis patients – Prof Brown’s research group has started a new study for patients with bronchiectasis, mainly for patients who have developed bronchiectasis as a consequence of a haematology disease or are receiving rituximab. The aim of the project is to investigate the effects of antibody deficiency on how the immune system is able to recognise and control Streptococcus pneumoniae infections. The study is being done by Dr Hall and Dr Jose and involves measuring antibody and white cell recognition of S. pneumoniae in volunteers before and after an injection of dead S. pneumoniae into their forearm.  Dr Hall will be contacting patients with bronchiectasis who may be suitable for this study to describe in more detail what it involves.

Bronch UK update – we have now recruited 110 patients into the Medical Research Council funded Bronch UK study; well done to Dr Hall and Joel Solis (research nurse) for reaching this target, and thank you for all the patients who have volunteered to take part. The data from this study will be essential in designing future trials of new therapies or ways of managing bronchiectasis.

I would like to thank you all for your support over the year in what has been an uncertain and challenging time for many of you.  With your support, Breathing Matters has continued to excel by focusing on our core mission.

Professor Jo Porter, Medical Director of Breathing Matters.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn 2018 Newsletter – Answers to Pollution Quiz

 

Q: What % of Londoners live in areas exceeding the World Health Organisation recommended pollution levels?

A: 95%

 

Q: What is PM2.5?

A: PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. Commonly written as PM2.5, particles in this category are so small that they can only be detected with an electron microscope.  Since they are so small and light, fine particles tend to stay longer in the air than heavier particles. This increases the chances of humans and animals inhaling them into the bodies.

 

Q: Which of the following can you do to help decrease levels of pollution?

  • Reduce car journeys.
  • Keep house temperature down.
  • Walk more.
  • Campaign for change.
  • All of the above.

A: All of the above.  Please do your best not to add to the pollution.

 

Let Off Steam at our Silent Disco

If you haven’t been to a silent disco before, you don’t know what you’re missing.  This concept is straight out of the festivals and sweeping across the UK and is becoming more and more popular. This is your chance to experience a silent disco in an awesome setting. And for a fantastic cause too!

DJs do battle over separate wireless channels, playing the best in disco, 80’s and guilty pleasure classics. Don a headset and choose your favourite tune. No distraction – just dance!

The silent disco is on Friday, 9th November 2018 at 7.30pm till late at the London Museum of Water and Steam.

This museum, based right beside Kew Bridge, is an iconic and historic building, housing fabulous working engines from times gone by.

This is a unique opportunity to explore the museum after hours.

Why not make it extra special and be a VIP for the evening – VIP guests will enjoy:
– Complimentary prosecco [half bottle].
– Canapes.
– Exclusive raised gallery with a fantastic view of the steam hall.
– Private seating area.
– Unfortunately, no wheelchair access for VIP guests.

Need to know:
– Print out tickets or show on mobile. No ticket: no entry.
– Cash only bar.
– Bring change for the cloakroom (£2.50).
– Bring cash for a chance to win big money in our Money Share game.
– Nearest station: Kew Bridge (few mins’ walk), South Western Railway.
– Directions: www.waterandsteam.org.uk/plan-your-visit
– Free car parking for 20 cars; first come first served. There is one dedicated parking space for orange or blue badge holders.
– Wheelchair access for standard tickets only.
– Free WiFi

Don’t delay, buy your tickets here

[Donations gratefully received from Bates Group and Sainsbury’s Warren Street towards the cost of this event.]

 

 

Summer 2018 Newsletter

 

For our Summer 2018 Newsletter, please click here

 

 

Jewellery Stalls

Our Breathing Matters’ stall this Friday 4th May 2018 is going to be our first Jewellery stall. The handmade bead jewellery has been very kindly donated to us by the family of one of Professor Brown’s patients. The lady had bronchiectasis and very sadly she has recently passed away. During her illness, she took up bead making as a hobby and the family thought the most fitting tribute would be donate her jewellery in the hope it could be sold to raise funds for Professor Brown’s research into bronchiectasis and lung infection. There will be a selection of necklaces, earrings and bracelets for the first stall…..there are over 150 items in total. 

The stall will be in the UCH atrium from 11.00 until 1pm this Friday 4th May 2018. 

Do come along to support this stall if you are in the London area.  We are hoping that Friday will be the first of many jewellery stalls.