Audiocast By Timothy R. Aksamit, MD
Earlier this year, the COPD Foundation expanded its Bronchiectasis Research Registry to include patients with nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM), an often misdiagnosed orphan disease that can cause severe lung infections that mimic tuberculosis when certain individuals are exposed to soil and water.
According to John W. Walsh, President of the COPD Foundation, “NTM lung disease is a devastating illness that is challenging to treat. For unknown reasons, a once productive individual struck with NTM is often left with permanent lung damage and recurring illness, including loss of hearing and vision.”
Individuals can become infected with NTM through environmental exposure to water, including potable water supplies, and soil through inhalation, ingestion and breaks in the skin due to injuries, surgical procedures, or IV catheters. Unlike tuberculosis, NTM cannot be passed from person to person. Many NTM patients have underlying lung problems such as bronchiectasis or other forms of COPD, cystic fibrosis, or alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
According to Philip Leitman, President of NTM Information and Research, “Because many of the existing treatments are so undefined, new research gives individuals with this disease hope and the information encourages them to participate in their own care.”
In a featured audiocast, Timothy R. Aksamit, MD, a pulmonary consultant at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and Chairman of the Bronchiectasis Research Registry Advisory Committee of the COPD Foundation, speaks to Pulmonary Reviews about the Bronchiectasis Research Registry, outlining its history and the rationale for adding NTM patients to the rolls. Aksamit also talks about the goals of the registry and plans for its future.
Bronchiectasis Registry.mp3 (1.14 mb)