Nuno Neuparth, principal investigator of the Integrated Pathophysiological Mechanisms Lab, from the R&D unit Comprehensive Health Research Centre (CHRC), was awarded a research project grant from the MSD Portugal for the project “Avaliação Funcional Multidisciplinar da Tosse” of 60,000 €.
Among others, this 2 years project will help to support to develop and install a multidisciplinary cough medical appointment at NOVA Medical School, within the scope of provision services to the community.
In brief, Nuno Neuparth talks about this project:
What discoveries led you to the design this research project?
This project was not driven by discoveries. It was driven by lags in our knowledge. Cough is the most prevalent symptom of all that brings people to seek medical care and although we can identify the causes and mechanisms in many cases, we still don’t know the causes in some cases. On the other hand, we don’t know the prevalence of cough in many countries as is the case of Portugal. Finally, these researches on the initiative of the investigator, are funded by the pharmaceutical industry whenever there is a new drug which is the case with MSD that funds this project.
What are you trying to understand with this work?
We are trying to understand the mechanisms of chronic cough (cough that lasts for more than 8 weeks) that is refractory to medical treatment.
Why is this important?
It is important because of its impact in the quality of life of persons with chronic cough that doesn’t respond to medical treatment. This patients can have cough for years without interruption.
Can you use an analogy to help us understand your work?
We already know that the mechanisms of chronic cough are similar those of chronic pain and this can help us to find new drugs.
Can you identify a possible outcome of this research?
I can anticipate two: the setup of new tools for the assessment of chronic cough at the Pathophysiology lab and the development of a new cough multidisciplinary clinic at NOVA Medical School. In order to achieve these outcomes we must publish the results of our investigation which are themselves an outcome.
Project team: Nuno Neuparth, Iolanda Caires, Miguel Proença, Pedro Martins. (top to bottom, from left to right)