Several lines of evidence, including the observation that the protein I-1 is downregulated in human failing hearts, have led to the suggestion that gene therapy to express a constitutively active form of the protein (I-1c) might provide a new approach to treating heart failure. However, Ali El-Armouche, Thomas Eschenhagen, and colleagues, at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, have now generated data in mice indicating that I-1c might have deleterious effects on the heart under certain circumstances, leading them to suggest that the benefit/risk ratio of I-1c gene therapy should be reevaluated. In the study, I-1-deficient mice were engineered to express I-1c in heart muscle cells (dTGI-1c mice). The hearts of young, resting dTGI-1c mice showed enhanced contractile function. However, when the mice were infused with catecholamine, a hormone released by the body in response to stress, they developed abnormal heartbeats and were susceptible to sudden death.
ARCA Biopharma Receives Notice Of Allowance For Patent For Treating Heart Failure Patients With Bucindolol Based On Genetic Testing
ARCA biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABIO), a biopharmaceutical company developing genetically targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, today announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its U.S. Patent Application Number 11/226, 908 entitled "Methods for Treatment with Bucindolol Based on Genetic Targeting." The Notice of Allowance is the USPTO's official communication that the examination of the patent application has been successfully completed and that a patent will be issued. Once issued, the patent will provide coverage for methods of treating heart failure patients with bucindolol based on genetic testing. "We are very pleased with the USPTO's decision to grant this patent which extends our pharmacogenetic intellectual property protection around bucindolol in to 2025, " said Michael R. Bristow, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARCA. "This allowance and anticipated issuance of the patent highlight ARCA's belief in, and commitment to, developing genetically targeted therapies for the treatment of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases.
UC Irvine cardiologists have found a pouchlike structure inside the heart's left atrial chamber that may be a potent source of stroke-causing blood clots. About 80 percent of the 700, 000-plus strokes that occur annually in the U.S. are due to blood clots blocking a brain artery. In up to a third of these cases, the clots' origin cannot be determined. Study co-author Dr. Subramaniam Krishnan said the discovery of this left atrial pouch could provide answers and inform neurologists' efforts to prevent stroke recurrences. Krishnan and Dr. Miguel Salazar of UCI first spotted the pouch during autopsy research. Subsequent ultrasound and CT scans of patients' hearts confirmed the finding. The researchers estimate that the anatomical feature, which Krishnan likened to a kangaroo pouch, is present in 30 percent to 35 percent of individuals. Study results appear in the January issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions. "The cul-de-sac nature of the heart pouch can promote stagnation of the blood, forming clots that can travel into the brain and cause a stroke, " Krishnan said.
When it comes to heart health, whether or not your job is stressful isn't what you should be worried about, according to doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Diet, exercise and risk factors like high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are what contribute to a person's chance of having a heart attack. "In my opinion, executives tend to be very organized and disciplined and often work exercise into their schedules, " said Dr. James de Lemos, assistant professor of cardiology at UT Southwestern. "They do not have more heart attacks than the rest of the population. People with less-stressful jobs are just as susceptible to heart attacks." Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Heart attack patients won't go to the emergency room as part of a new University of Kentucky plan designed to reduce those patients' risk of dying by nearly 8 percent for every half hour shaved off the time between the ambulance and treatment at the hospital. In most cases, heart attack sufferers go straight to the cardiac catheterization lab in the UK Gill Heart Institute, where a specialized response team waits to break through the life-threatening blood clot that is causing the attack. As part of the fast-track protocol, when responding to a possible heart attack, specially trained paramedics administer a painless test called an electrocardiogram, or EKG (also called ECG), which can help detect a heart attack. If the test and other warning signs indicate the patient is in the midst of a heart attack, with the patient's consent the paramedics activate the cardiac catheterization team on their way to the UK Gill Heart Institute. Once the patient arrives, the cardiac catheterization team, led by a physician who specializes in treating heart disease, assesses the patient and the EKG to determine whether they should perform an emergency angioplasty, a minimally-invasive procedure to open blocked blood vessels.
How do you change health habits among a population with some of the highest heart disease rates in the world? Tackling heart disease in Kentucky an epicenter of heart health problems the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is helping high-risk patients make radical, lasting changes to improve their heart health. "People have a notion of heart disease as something they're born with, but for most people that isn't true. Genetics play a role, but lifestyle accounts for the majority of heart disease risk, " says Dr. Alison Bailey, Gill Heart Institute cardiologist and director of the cardiac rehab program. Since the Gill Heart Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation Program opened in February 2009, dozens of patients have undergone total lifestyle makeovers with the help of heart health professionals. Many patients enter rehabilitation after a dramatic event, such as a heart attack. Others self-refer to the program, knowing they are at risk and hoping to avoid a cardiac emergency.
If you think heart disease is a disease of the middle aged, think again. Experts recommend that cholesterol screening should begin as early as 20 years of age because it is a key indicator of heart-attack risk, and should be rechecked at least once every five years. Atherosclerosis begins early, says Dr. Anand Rohatgi, cardiologist with UT Southwestern Medical Center's program in preventive cardiology. Even young adults and teens can show evidence of atherosclrosis, or hardening of the arteries. If early screening reveals low levels of good cholesterol (HDL) or moderately high levels of the bad cholesterol (LDL), counseling is provided to help modify lifestyles. Those who fall into this category should be reevaluated every one or two years. "Simple measures that can reduce cholesterol levels include decreasing the amount of saturated fat to less than 7 percent of total calories consumed each day, " Dr. Rohatgi says. "Also, increasing the amount of soluble fiber by just 5 to 10 grams daily and limiting cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams per day are helpful.
Scientists at the University of Leicester are 'painting' the colours of the heart in an innovative project that has potential to bring benefits for millions of people with irregular heart rhythm. An estimated 4.5 million people in the European Union are known to have Atrial fibrillation (AF) - the most common type of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm. The condition affects about 10% of people over the age of 70. Considering the advancing age in the general population and links to body size and obesity, scientists say the increase in AF is almost approaching epidemic proportions. Researchers from the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester are working with colleagues in the University's Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and St Jude Medical UK to devise a new way of 'mapping' the electrical signals of the heart and creating a colour map of abnormal signals. This will allow cardiologists to target them with unprecedented accuracy. University of Leicester scientists Dr.
A common lung condition, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) diminishes the heart's ability to pump effectively even when the disease has no or mild symptoms, according to research published in the Jan. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study is the first time researchers have shown strong links between heart function and mild COPD. The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers have long known that severe cases of COPD have harmful effects on the heart, decreasing its ability to pump blood effectively. The new results suggest that these changes in the heart occur much earlier than previously believed, in mild cases and even before symptoms appear. One in five Americans over the age of 45 has COPD, but as many as half of them may not even be aware of it. "This study shows that COPD, even in its mildest form, is associated with diminished heart function, " said NHLBI Acting Director Susan B.
Even healthy people exposed to ultrafine particulate pollution associated with traffic and fossil-fuel combustion for just two hours show changes in heart rhythm and evidence of clot formation that may herald the potential for serious cardiac events, according to research from the Environmental Protection Agency. The study was published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. "We wanted to look at the specific effects that these ultrafine particles have on healthy individuals as these particles are deposited more deeply and with greater efficiency into the lower respiratory tract and may have effects beyond the pulmonary system, " said lead author of the study, James Samet, Ph.D. senior principal investigator with the clinical research branch of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, of the EPA. Dr. Samet and colleagues exposed 19 healthy 18-to-35 year-old volunteers to the concentrated levels of ambient ultrafine particles from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.