Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cold-Blooded Research has Hearts Thumping

22.04.2013
The protective effect of inducing controlled hypothermia following sudden cardiac arrest will now be investigated in detail.

The goal of the scientific work is to judge whether this type of cryotherapy can be improved when using parallel simultaneous invasive resuscitation procedures. Establishing a powerful model to help predict improvements in patients' health is key for the project.


Green light for research on inducing controlled hypothermia following sudden cardiac arrest. Photo: Andreas Janata

Neuro-behavioural tests will also be developed to enable various treatment regimens to be compared. The project, supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, will establish the basis for best practices when saving lives using controlled hypothermia.

Things stay fresh longer when refrigerated. That goes for lettuce as well as humans – especially when the body is not provided with an adequate supply of oxygen. This occurs following sudden cardiac arrest, which has a survival rate of less than ten percent. Cooling to 33 degrees Celsius – known as mild hypothermia – is actually the only effective therapy for improving the survival rates of these patients. A team of researchers from the Medical University of Vienna will now investigate how to improve hypothermic treatment when using it in combination with invasive resuscitation procedures.

Resuscitation & Repairing

Hypothermia works by reduction of reperfusion injury – the damage that is inflicted by oxygenized blood flowing into oxygen-deprived tissue. As paradoxical as it may sound, the resuscitation that makes survival of the patient possible, likewise leads to damage of the heart muscle and brain. Dr. Andreas Janata from the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna and leader of the project on this topic: "Reperfusion injury occurs when blood flow is restored to the brain after a period of hypoxia, which is oxygen deprivation. Restoration of the blood flow actually triggers an inflammation reaction and oxidative stress that can damage the tissue. Hypothermia can reduce the effects of these mechanisms of damage." Current conventional protocols involve reducing the body temperature down to 33 degrees Celsius. According to the hypothesis, even lower temperatures would minimise damaging after-effects in the brain – but they would lead to intolerable side effects for the heart.

Dr. Janata and his team want to get a grip on precisely this treatment dilemma. For invasive resuscitation procedures using a heart-lung machine relieve the heart during resuscitation and thus allow the use of lower temperatures. However, the best temperature scheme is not yet known and the project will settle this.

Therapeutic Cocktail "on the Rocks"

Hypothermia influences a great many physiological processes, which is one of the challenges involved. These include programmed cell death (apoptosis), immune responses, and damage to nerve cells (excitotoxicity), as well as oxidative cellular stress. The processes affected are actually so complex that it would be difficult to identify any one single pharmaceutical therapy that could have just as comprehensive and positive an effect as hypothermia does. Dr. Janata comments: "Hypothermia is like a cocktail of various medications. That makes it very difficult to study its effect or determine the best practices for treatment." Due to this complexity, a significant part of the work begun recently by his team consists of setting up a suitable multi-tier model that permits analysis of various treatment regimens.

In fact, the team had already managed to develop models for ventricular fibrillations and invasive resuscitation some time ago. The project will now include developing neuro-behavioural tests for this model. These tests will be carried out following an induced circulatory arrest and permit the consequences of treatments with varying degrees of hypothermia during invasive resuscitative procedures to be compared. The results of this project, which is supported by the FWF, will then offer a basis for best-practices treatment in cases of sudden cardiac arrest – a medical problem that has exhibited frighteningly low survival rates, despite its frequent occurrence.

Scientific contact
Dr. Andreas Janata
Medical University of Vienna
Department of Emergency Medicine
Währinger Gürtel 18 - 20
1090 Vienna, Austria
M +43 / 650 / 314 7344
E andreas.janata@meduniwien.ac.at
Austrian Science Fund FWF
Mag. Stefan Bernhardt
Haus der Forschung
Sensengasse 1
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 67 40 - 8111
Copy Editing & Distribution
PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Education
Mariannengasse 8
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 70 44
E contact@prd.at
W http://www.prd.at

Judith Sandberger | PR&D
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

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...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

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...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

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...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

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...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

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)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>