Research uncovers new steps on pathway to enlarged heart

Researchers have new insight into the mechanisms that underlie a pathological increase in the size of the heart. The research, published by Cell Press in the October 24th issue of the journal Molecular Cell, may lead to the development of new strategies for managing this extremely common cardiac ailment that often leads to heart failure. Continue reading “Research uncovers new steps on pathway to enlarged heart”

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Newly discovered molecule promises better treatments for heart attacks, heart surgery

Scientists have discovered a compound that could lead to new treatments for heart attacks as well as methods to protect hearts during open heart surgery and other situations in which blood flow to the heart is interrupted.

In the process, the researchers uncovered cellular mechanisms that help explain how alcohol can protect against heart attack damage. In addition, they have uncovered a possible key to reducing chest pain and the heart attack damage among millions of people of East Asian descent who are genetically unable to respond to nitroglycerin and other cardiovascular treatments.
Continue reading “Newly discovered molecule promises better treatments for heart attacks, heart surgery”

Eating fish may explain very low levels of heart disease in Japan

Consuming large quantities of fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids may explain low levels of heart disease in Japan, according to a study led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The study also found that third- and fourth-generation Japanese Americans had similar or even higher levels of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries – a major risk factor for heart disease, compared to white Americans.
Continue reading “Eating fish may explain very low levels of heart disease in Japan”

Exercise could be the heart’s fountain of youth

Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but endurance exercise seems to make it younger. According to a study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, older people who did endurance exercise training for about a year ended up with metabolically much younger hearts. The researchers also showed that by one metabolic measure, women benefited more than men from the training.
Continue reading “Exercise could be the heart’s fountain of youth”

Designer RNA fights high cholesterol

Small, specially designed bits of ribonucleic acid (RNA) can interfere with cholesterol metabolism, reducing harmful cholesterol by two-thirds in pre-clinical tests, according to a new study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in collaboration with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In a study that appears online today and in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that a single dose of a small interfering RNA (siRNA), a chemical cousin of DNA, lowered cholesterol levels up to 60 percent in rodents, with the effects lasting for weeks.

Continue reading “Designer RNA fights high cholesterol”

Aspirin, acid blocker a-day keeps GI bleeding

For patients with clogged heart arteries who take long-term, low-dose aspirin to prevent a cardiac event, adding a stomach acid-blocking drug to their daily routine has been shown to reduce their risk for upper gastrointestinal bleeding – an infrequent, but serious side-effect of regular aspirin use.

But do the benefits of these acid blockers – called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs – outweigh their long-term costs?

In a new study, researchers at the University of Michigan Health System reveal that, from the perspective of a long-term payer, over-the-counter PPIs are worth the price for coronary heart disease patients taking low-dose aspirin as a preventative measure. At prescription costs, however, PPIs are cost-effective only for elderly patients and patients at high risk for upper GI bleeding.
Continue reading “Aspirin, acid blocker a-day keeps GI bleeding”

Major “Missed” Biochemical Pathway Emerges As Important in Virtually All Cells

A new study by Duke University researchers provides more evidence that the nitric oxide (NO) system in the life of a cell plays a key role in disease, and the findings point to ways to improve treatment of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

The nitric oxide system in cells is “a major biological signaling pathway that has been missed with regard to the way it controls proteins,” and it is linked to cancer and other diseases when the system goes awry, said Jonathan Stamler, M.D., a professor of medicine and biochemistry at Duke University Medical Center who worked on the study. Continue reading “Major “Missed” Biochemical Pathway Emerges As Important in Virtually All Cells”