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      Is Open Access

      Adjunctive treatment with oral AKL1, a botanical nutraceutical, in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Purpose

          The objective of this pilot trial was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AKL1, a patented botanical formulation containing extracts of Picrorhiza kurroa, Ginkgo biloba, and Zingiber officinale, as add-on therapy for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic cough.

          Patients and methods

          This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled male and female patients >18 years old with COPD and Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) score of <18. The 10-week study period comprised a 2-week single-blind placebo run-in period followed by add-on treatment with AKL1 or placebo twice daily for 8 weeks. The primary study endpoint was the change from week 0 to week 8 in cough-related health status, as assessed by the LCQ.

          Results

          Of 33 patients enrolled, 20 were randomized to AKL1 and 13 to placebo. Patients included 19 (58%) men and 14 (42%) women of mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of 67 (9.4) years; 15 (45%) patients were smokers and 16 (49%) were ex-smokers. The mean (SD) change from baseline in LCQ score at 8 weeks was 2.3 (4.9) in the AKL1 group and 0.6 (3.7) in the placebo group, with mean difference in change of 1.8 (95% confidence interval: −1.5 to 5.1; P=0.28). The St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire score improved substantially in the AKL1 treatment group by a mean (SD) of −7.7 (11.7) versus worsening in the placebo group (+1.5 [9.3]), with mean difference in change of −9.2 (95% confidence interval: −19.0 to 0.6; P=0.064). There were no significant differences between treatment groups in change from baseline to week 8 in other patient-reported measures, lung function, or the 6-minute walk distance.

          Conclusion

          Further study is needed with a larger patient population and over a longer duration to better assess the effects of add-on therapy with AKL1 in COPD.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

          Summary Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by progressive airflow obstruction that is only partly reversible, inflammation in the airways, and systemic effects or comorbities. The main cause is smoking tobacco, but other factors have been identified. Several pathobiological processes interact on a complex background of genetic determinants, lung growth, and environmental stimuli. The disease is further aggravated by exacerbations, particularly in patients with severe disease, up to 78% of which are due to bacterial infections, viral infections, or both. Comorbidities include ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, and lung cancer. Bronchodilators constitute the mainstay of treatment: β2 agonists and long-acting anticholinergic agents are frequently used (the former often with inhaled corticosteroids). Besides improving symptoms, these treatments are also thought to lead to some degree of disease modification. Future research should be directed towards the development of agents that notably affect the course of disease.
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            Corticosteroid resistance in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

             Peter Barnes (2013)
            Reduced responsiveness to the anti-inflammatory effects of corticosteroids is a major barrier to effective management of asthma in smokers and patients with severe asthma and in the majority of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The molecular mechanisms leading to steroid resistance are now better understood, and this has identified new targets for therapy. In patients with severe asthma, several molecular mechanisms have been identified that might account for reduced steroid responsiveness, including reduced nuclear translocation of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) α after binding corticosteroids. This might be due to modification of the GR by means of phosphorylation as a result of activation of several kinases (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase α, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase γ, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1), which in turn might be due to reduced activity and expression of phosphatases, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1 and protein phosphatase A2. Other mechanisms proposed include increased expression of GRβ, which competes with and thus inhibits activated GRα; increased secretion of macrophage migration inhibitory factor; competition with the transcription factor activator protein 1; and reduced expression of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 2. HDAC2 appears to mediate the action of steroids to switch off activated inflammatory genes, but in patients with COPD, patients with severe asthma, and smokers with asthma, HDAC2 activity and expression are reduced by oxidative stress through activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ. Strategies for managing steroid resistance include alternative anti-inflammatory drugs, but a novel approach is to reverse steroid resistance by increasing HDAC2 expression, which can be achieved with theophylline and phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ inhibitors. Long-acting β2-agonists can also increase steroid responsiveness by reversing GRα phosphorylation. Identifying the molecular mechanisms of steroid resistance in asthmatic patients and patients with COPD can thus lead to more effective anti-inflammatory treatments. Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
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              St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire: MCID.

              The SGRQ is a disease-specific measure of health status for use in COPD. A number of methods have been used for estimating its minimum clinically important difference (MCID). These include both expert and patient preference-based estimates. Anchor-based methods have also been used. The calculated MCID from those studies was consistently around 4 units, regardless of assessment method. By contrast, the MCID calculated using distribution-based methods varied across studies and permitted no consistent estimate. All measurements of clinical significance contain sample and measurement error. They also require value judgements, if not about the calculation of the MCID itself then about the anchors used to estimate it. Under these circumstances, greater weight should be placed upon the overall body of evidence for an MCID, rather than one single method. For that reason, estimates of MCID should be used as indicative values. Methods of analysing clinical trial results should reflect this, and use appropriate statistical tests for comparison with the MCID. Treatments for COPD that produced an improvement in SGRQ of the order of 4 units in clinical trials have subsequently found wide acceptance once in clinical practice, so it seems reasonable to expect any new treatment proposed for COPD to produce an advantage over placebo that is not significantly inferior to a 4-unit difference.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2014
                09 July 2014
                : 9
                : 715-721
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
                [2 ]Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK
                [3 ]Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
                [4 ]Research in Real Life, Cambridge, UK
                [5 ]Mundesley Medical Centre, Mundesley, Norwich, UK
                [6 ]Primary Care Research, Aldermoor Health Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Andrew M Wilson, Norwich Medical School, Medical School Building, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK, Tel +44 1603 591 257, Fax +44 1603 591 750, Email a.m.wilson@ 123456uea.ac.uk
                Article
                copd-9-715
                10.2147/COPD.S54276
                4096458
                © 2014 Brockwell et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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