For the patient in this case study, her symptoms first appeared 10 years ago and they persisted through the years. The symptoms peaked in the morning and occurred more frequently as time went on. Doctors prescribed medication, but it proved to be ineffective.
As a next step, Mayo Clinic physician researchers explored and confirmed the presence of a genetic mutation that clearly established an inherited predisposition to atrial fibrillation.
Their study findings appear in the February issue of Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine (http://www.nature.com/clinicalpractice/cardio).
"Why certain patients develop atrial fibrillation while others do not, despite comparable environmental stress exposure, might ultimately depend on their genetic makeup," the authors write.
Atrial fibrillation is recognized more often in the elderly who have underlying structural heart disease. But in this study, Mayo Clinic researchers address the gene-based form of atrial fibrillation that affects younger people who do not otherwise harbor risk factors for the disease. The case was compared to 2,000 individuals who did not carry the mutation or suffer from atrial fibrillation.
The Mayo Clinic study is the first to identify an atrial fibrillation-associated genetic mutation of the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel. Researchers uncovered its role as a safeguard against atrial arrhythmia under stress conditions. The fail-safe mechanism present in most people to provide electrical stability to the heart under stress was defective in this patient. The sequencing of KATP channel genes, using genomic DNA extracted from the patient's peripheral white blood cells, revealed a genetic mutation.
The discovery of the genetic mutation's role in contributing to atrial fibrillation may ultimately improve physicians' ability to identify patients who have a hereditary predisposition to atrial fibrillation, which is often complicated by increased risk for stroke and heart failure.
"Our findings support the emerging understanding of atrial fibrillation in younger patients as an inherited disease of ion channels, the building blocks of electrical pathways," says Timothy Olson, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist and lead author of the study.
Because medications were ineffective in this case, the Mayo Clinic team treated the woman's atrial fibrillation by targeting high-energy radio waves to an area of the atrium -- an upper heart chamber -- most vulnerable to stress-induced electrical instability. This approach highlights the capacity to successfully treat patients who have genetic forms of atrial fibrillation.
"This case is a fine example of individualized medicine in practice, highlighting the benefit of translating molecular technology into an understanding of disease processes in the clinical setting," says Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist and senior author of the study.
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
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”...
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...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
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...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News