New discovery sparks hope of safer dosage of Warfarin
The blood-thinning drug Warfarin tops the list of drug side-effects in Sweden. Patient sensitivity to Warfarin varies, which can lead to over-dosage and in certain cases to death. A study led by Mia Wadelius at Uppsala University in Sweden, together with researchers in Cambridge, indicates that two genes may be the explanation. The findings are being published in the latest issue of The Pharmacogenomics Journal.
Warfarin is used to prevent blood clots, but a side-effect can be severe, even fatal, bleeding. In Sweden since the 1960s more fatal side-effects have been reported from Warfarin than for any other drug. Of the 118 deaths reported in connection with drug treatment in Sweden last year, nearly half involved bleeding from Warfarin.
There is still no good alternative to Warfarin in cases of blood clots or heart or valve diseases. Every year 70,000 patients in Sweden are treated with Warfarin. All patients receive the same dose the first few days, then the dosage is determined by a test of the capacity of the blood to coagulate. The differences are great in how much Warfarin patients need to attain an effect. One patient can require 20 times the dose needed by another patient.
The Uppsala University Section for Clinical Pharmacology is carrying out a pharmacogenetic study in collaboration with the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England. The findings show that hereditary variations in two genes, together with the patient’s age, weight, disease, and other medicines, explain nearly 60 percent of the variations in dosage. One of the genes is called the vitamin-K-reductase gene and was discovered by two U.S. research teams last year. The other gene is the gene for the enzyme cytochrome P450 2C9, which governs the degradation of Warfarin and has long been known. Now Mia Wadelius and her associates will be analyzing a further score of genes that affect the uptake, transport, degradation, or effect of Warfarin.
“We want to develop clinical analyses that can predict what dosage of Warfarin a patient should have from the moment the drug is prescribed. If we can create such analyses, then we can reduce the risk of early bleeding. With the newly discovered gene and our findings, we are one step closer to a solution,” says Mia Wadelius.
Linda Nohrstedt | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...