Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research casts doubt over heart disease treatments

15.03.2007
Some treatments for high blood pressure could be increasing the risk of heart attacks and causing more people to need cardiac pacemakers, according to new research findings published today.

High blood pressure is sometimes treated by calcium channel blockers to reduce the heart beat, as the channels – which allow calcium into the cells – are linked to muscle contraction. But the channels are also fundamental to the electrical currents which create the heartbeat.

University of Leeds scientists Dr Matthew Lancaster and Dr Sandra Jones have discovered that the channels gradually fail as we age and this failure is a likely factor in arrythmia and heart attacks in the elderly. By blocking the channels to treat high blood pressure, clinicians may unwittingly be increasing the likelihood of other problems developing.

Dr Lancaster said: “Many people suffer from an irregular heartbeat as they grow older and large numbers have pacemakers fitted. Making the link between these heart problems and the failure of the calcium channels as we age has flagged up a warning sign that some common medical treatments may be making the condition worse. Clinicians should think carefully before prescribing calcium channel blockers and ensure that, in treating one heart condition, they aren’t exacerbating others.”

... more about:
»Heart »blood pressure »pacemaker »pressure

The beating of the heart is caused by an electrical signal, which starts at the top of the heart in the sinoatrial (SA) node and is transmitted down to cause consecutive muscle contraction of the different chambers. The electrical signal is generated through an influx of calcium into the cells in the SA node, causing a change in voltage which creates the current.

Calcium enters the cells through channels – so these are fundamental to a steady heart beat. If the calcium channels are reduced, the heartbeat becomes irregular leading to a fall in blood pressure, fainting, and potentially, if untreated, death. These are the symptoms which can mean a patient needs a cardiac pacemaker fitted – but they may be exacerbated by treatment for high blood pressure which blocks the calcium channels.

The link between age and loss of calcium channels opens up new possibilities of treating heart conditions. Dr Jones said: “It may be possible to mitigate the effects of the loss of calcium channels through gene therapy, as the treatment would only be required in one specific area – the sinoatrial node – so should be fairly easy to administer.”

The researchers also think exercise may also be a factor. As members of the sports science group in Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences, Drs Lancaster and Jones are now looking at whether exercise training is able to reduce the loss of the calcium channels in the SA node.

The research is published this week in the journal of the American Heart Association, Circulation.

Abigail Chard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk

Further reports about: Heart blood pressure pacemaker pressure

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>