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February 13, 2010

Blood compound may help prevent intractable heart failure

WASHINGTON : Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine claim that a chemical compound found normally in the blood may help treat & prevent an intractable form of heart failure.

Heart failureIn heart failure the heart is unable to pump effectively and cannot meet the body's need for blood and oxygen. It is really two diseases, each with about half of all patients, says Dr. Samuel Dudley, professor of medicine & physiology at UIC & chair of the section of cardiology. Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer contract effectively. In diastolic heart failure, the heart is unable to relax after contraction.

"Although we 've a number of treatments for systolic heart failure, there 're no approved treatments at all for diastolic heart failure, a deadly disease with a 60% mortality rate 5 yrs. after diagnosis," said Dudley.

Hypertension is the cause in the overwhelming majority of diastolic heart failure cases.

"We know from previous studies that nitric oxide (NO) is necessary for blood vessel relaxation & that hypertension can lead to a decrease of NO in blood vessels," said Dudley. He & his colleagues knew that-in blood vessels-the problem was depletion of a chemical called tetrahydrobiopterin (BH 4), which is needed for the tissues to make NO.

"We decided to try thinking of the heart as a huge blood vessel that might also be unable to make the NO it needed due to long-term hypertension, & see if adding BH4 could make a difference," said Dudley.They found that by giving mice BH4 they were not only able to prevent diastolic heart failure from developing, but to restore function to the heart after the fact.

"We 're very excited about the possibilities of developing therapies for human heart failure based on BH4," said Dudley.
Report : ANI

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prateek said...


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