Lung patients wanted to test new herbal tablet

Patients in the region with lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema are invited to take part in cutting edge research into a new herbal remedy.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) study is investigating whether the treatment – known as AKL1 – can be scientifically proven to relieve coughs and breathlessness.

While most patients are currently prescribed inhalers, AKL1 comes in tablet form. It is manufactured using a combination of ginkgo biloba, picrorhiza kurroa and zingiber officinale – plant-based products which have been used individually for thousands of years.

Volunteers must be aged 18 to 80. Each will be given a respiratory MOT including an ECG (heart wave test) and an assessment by a respiratory specialist using cutting edge equipment not available on the NHS. They will be expected to attend the Clinical Research and Trials Unit at UEA in Norwich four times over a 10-week period. Volunteers will be able to continue with their current medication throughout.

Free parking is available and travelling expenses will be paid up to £100.

Funded by the UK Respiratory Research Foundation, the year-long study is the largest of its kind into the group of lung diseases known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Thirty patients have already enrolled, but more are needed.

COPD is a major healthcare problem in the UK. It affects three million people and causes 30,000 deaths each year. The annual cost to the UK taxpayer is £800m.

Study leader Dr Andrew Wilson, of UEA’s School of Medicine, said: “It is exciting to be involved in assessing a new way of treating patients with these debilitating conditions. We are using a range of tests to measure how patients may benefit from AKL1. It is important that studies such as this are undertaken.”

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Dr Andrew Wilson on 01603 289876 or

Thursday 28th of January 2010 02:00:22 PM