Researchers study multi-purpose drug
Goal to reduce disease in blood vessels
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center today announced that they have launched a study to determine whether an experimental drug, rimonabant, can slow atherosclerosis, the fatty build-up in arteries that creates heart attack risk. In recent studies, rimonabant has been shown to decrease body weight, improve abnormal levels of blood sugars and fats (cholesterol) and to help willing patients quit smoking. Now researchers hope to add coronary artery disease (CAD), atherosclerosis within the arteries of the heart, to the list of maladies addressed. A decision on whether rimonabant is safe and effective and if so, for which uses, is expected from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006.
Unlike previous cholesterol drugs that treat some aspect of blood or blood vessel walls, rimonabant is a cannabinoid receptor antagonist, which exerts its effect in parts of the brain that control appetite and addictive behaviors. Results of previous studies show that rimonabant reduces triglycerides and increases HDL-C, or "good" cholesterol, independent of weight loss. The new study, titled STADIVARIUS (Strategy to Reduce Atherosclerosis Development Involving Administration of Rimonabant- The Intravascular Ultrasound Study), will explore whether these effects will impact the progression of atherosclerosis.
"Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease have all reached epidemic proportions to become leading causes of death despite being largely preventable," said Frederick S. Ling, M.D., director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, associate professor of Medicine at the medical center and principal investigator for STRADIVARIUS. "These risk factors, called metabolic syndrome when combined in one person, feed off each other and are made much worse by smoking. New approaches are urgently needed, and our lab has the tools to measure accurately whether new treatments actually slow the progression of coronary artery disease."
Specifically, people with metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following risk factors: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance/high blood sugar (precursor to diabetes), and blood lipid disorders (high triglycerides or low good cholesterol (HDL-C)). The 50 million Americans with the syndrome are at increased risk for CAD, which takes 500,000 lives per year, according to the American Heart Association. By further worsening disease in coronary arteries, smoking puts 47 million Americans at even greater risk.
Greg Williams | EurekAlert!
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)...