Jason Allen, Ph.D., conducting a study of the brachial artery in the arm
PHOTO CREDIT: Duke University Medical Center
Duke University Medical Center researchers have shown an association between changes in nitrate, a biochemical marker of nitric oxide production, and physiological changes in arteries’ reaction to stress. They hope their discovery could eventually lead to a non-invasive method of determining which patients are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Such a simple diagnostic is important, they said, because up to half of patients who develop heart disease do not have the typical risk factors. Furthermore, using this new approach, the researchers demonstrated that exercise improved the marker in patients at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
In their pilot study, the researchers linked the systemic production of nitric oxide, a chemical known to play a key role in controlling the ability of arteries to constrict or relax, with changes in the endothelial lining of arteries after being stressed.
Richard Merritt | dukemed news
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