Nurse tending to a patient

Volunteers Wanted for Asthma Research Study

Researchers at North Bristol NHS Trust are analysing levels of wellbeing and brain structure/function in patients with asthma, and we would like to welcome volunteers. 


People with asthma suffer from more anxiety, depression and memory problems than the general population. This is associated with differences in the structure and function of the brain as seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. This is particularly prominent in those with the most severe asthma. We do not fully understand that relationship and how best to approach improving these issues. 


We are performing MRI brain scans and questionnaires in people with severe eosinophilic asthma before and after starting mepolizumab treatment, to assess the effect of improved asthma control. To best understand the changes that are seen in people with severe uncontrolled asthma, we need a control group of patients with well-controlled, mild-to-moderate asthma to provide some comparative readings. 


Am I Eligible? 

  • Have you been given a diagnosis of mild-to-moderate asthma that requires you to take either a regular steroid inhaler, or an as-required steroid inhaler?
  • Is your asthma well-controlled – no exacerbations requiring oral/tablet steroids in the last 3 months, and not more than 2 in the last 12 months?
  • Are you above the age of 18?
  • Are you a life-long non-smoker, or an ex-smoker who has smoked for less than 10 years?
  • Would you be willing to attend NBT for one or two study visits?


What does the study involve?

We will ask you to come to hospital for a single visit. At this visit we will test your lung function and take a blood test. We will ask you to complete a series of simple questionnaires about your breathing, cognition and wellbeing. 

In addition, we will ask half of volunteers to attend NBT to undergo an MRI scan of the brain. 

You will be free to end your participation in the study at any stage and we will not require a reason.


Will I be compensated? 

Yes. You will receive £50, plus up to £60 reimbursement for travel and parking if you attend for the blood test, lung function and questionnaires. You will receive £150 if you are taking part in the MRI scan alongside the questionnaires/lung function/blood tests, in addition to travel and parking reimbursement up to £60.


How to get involved?

If you are interested, then please contact the Respiratory Research Department on 0117 41 48114 or