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Brunel University seeks volunteers with asthma for drug-free trials

The Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Brunel University in Cleveland Road, Uxbridge, is calling for volunteers between the ages of 18 and 50 to help with their research in evaluating a special training device called POWERBREATHE Medic, described as “dumbbells for the diaphragm.“

Professor Alison McConnell who is leading the project, which is due to take place this summer, said: “We've known for a number of years that if we weight train the muscles that are used to breathe, people experience a reduction in their breathlessness during exercise.“

The device, which has been used by athletes, has been available on NHS prescription for about a year and can be bought from many high street stores and chemists.

The research team hopes to understand more about how the treatment brings about improvements in symptoms and they also hope to develop improved training programmes.

Volunteers who have mild to moderate asthma and can make six visits to the laboratories at Brunel University (each visit will last around 90 min), should call Stephen How on 01895 266492, or email Further information about POWERbreathe can be found at