About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Better Treatments for Cardiovascular Disease Possible Via Southampton Research

by Kathy Jones on April 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM
Font : A-A+

 Better Treatments for Cardiovascular Disease Possible Via Southampton Research

A new process that controls the ability of arteries to regulate blood pressure has been discovered by scientists at the University of Southampton.

Arteries are able to control blood pressure by relaxing and constricting. In healthy people, the ability of arteries to relax or constrict is kept in balance. However, this balance shifts in people who are at risk of developing high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. There is more constriction within the arteries so blood cannot flow freely increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Advertisement

Researchers in Southampton, led by Dr Graham Burdge, Reader in Human Nutrition, have identified a new process that controls the ability of arteries to constrict, which could lead to a better understanding of the causes of cardiovascular disease and the development of new treatments.

In a study funded by the British Heart Foundation, which is published in PLoS ONE today (3 April 2012), researchers showed that polyunsaturated fats, which are converted into fat-like molecules called eicosanoids in order to make arteries constrict, are made by the muscle cells in the arteries rather than being taken up from blood, as previously thought.
Advertisement

By blocking the action of two enzymes that create polyunsaturated fats, the researchers were able to reduce the constriction of arteries allowing blood to flow more freely, therefore lowering the risk of high blood pressure.

The research also found that this process changed in arteries that showed the early signs of causing high blood pressure. They found changes in the epigenetic 'switches' that control one of the key genes for making polyunsaturated fats, while another gene over-compensated for this change.

Dr Burdge comments: "This is an important finding. Cardiovascular disease is an increasing public health issue. In 2009, over 180,000 people died from cardiovascular disease in the UK - that is one in three of all deaths.

"Discovering a new process which controls how arteries work, and finding that it can be modified in the laboratory, raises a strong possibility for developing new medicines that may lead to better ways of treating cardiovascular disease. Currently, it is difficult for doctors to screen people at risk of cardiovascular disease before symptoms develop. However, a test based on the epigenetic changes we have found could provide a new way of screening people for risk of cardiovascular disease, and, in time, it might also be possible to correct this epigenetic defect."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge on Sugar Intake and Oral Health
Test  Your Knowledge on Heart
Test Your Knowlege on Genes
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Malnutrition to Obesity - The Big Leap 

Most Popular on Medindia

Find a Hospital Diaphragmatic Hernia Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Color Blindness Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Daily Calorie Requirements Sanatogen Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Blood Donation - Recipients Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam)
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE

×

Better Treatments for Cardiovascular Disease Possible Via Southampton Research Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests