New knowledge can improve current therapies and shape new ones Researchers have determined how metabolic pathways differ between healthy and failing hearts. Normally, a heart derives its energy from a balance of fatty acids and carbohydrates, specifically glucose.
But Dr. Gary Lopaschuk, a pharmacologist and professor in the University of Alberta Department of Pediatrics, and his colleagues in the U.S. and Italy have found that during the early stages of heart failure, the heart uses too much fatty acid and not enough carbohydrate; and then, later on, the heart doesnt use enough fat.
Lopaschuk thinks that better treatments for heart failure patients may be available now that they have discovered that the type of "fuel" that the heart uses can contribute to the severity of heart failures. There are existing drugs that can make the heart more productive, but they dont remedy the fact that the heart is still inefficient because a lot of oxygen is necessary for it to drive the same amount of contractile activity.
Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
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