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Scientists Have Discovered A Protein That May Aid Heart Failure Patients

Scientists have come up with a pill that can mimic the effects of regular exercise, according to the latest research. This could be beneficial for heart failure patients.

Scientists Have Discovered A Protein That May Aid Heart Failure Patients

A protein that may trick the heart to become healthier

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Scientists have come with a pill that can aid heart failure patients
  2. The researchers used a protein called cardiotrophin 1
  3. CT1 can produce healthy and beneficial remodeling of the heart

Scientists at the Ottawa University, Canada have come up with a pill that can mimic the effects of regular exercise, according to the latest research. This could be beneficial for heart failure patients. The study was published in the journal Nature. Heart patients usually have a failing pump where the heart fails to pump adequate blood to meet the needs of the body for oxygenated blood which leads to symptoms such as fatigue and severe breathlessness. The heart muscles become stiff and thickened in the condition known as cardiomyopathy. 

The researchers used a protein called cardiotrophin 1 and attempted to see if it could help stimulate the growth of new muscle cells in the heart. The protein leads heart to pump more blood even when an individual is sitting still.This makes it further beneficial particularly for people with heart problems who find it hard to exercise. 

The protein human cardiotrophin 1 (hCT1) was given to the mice with heart failure for a 14 days. Heart muscle can grow in either a healthy or bad way. The bad way is when it stiffens in cardiomyopathy. Healthy growth is usually caused by regular exercise and is reversible meaning it can stop when exercise is stopped. 


Lynn Megeney a Professor at the University of Ottawa was quoted by PTI "We found that CT1 causes heart muscles to grow in a more healthy way and it also stimulates blood vessel growth in the heart. This actually increases the heart's ability to pump blood, just like what you would see with exercise and pregnancy." 

The researchers assessed the mice and rats after two weeks of treatment using echocardiograms of the heart. Echocardiograms carried out six weeks later to see if the effects were reversible after stopping the protein. They also tested phenylephrine, a decongestant on the heart. 

Researchers have explained that this exciting finding is still in its emergening stages and more studies especially on humans are needed before this can be available. They concluded that the protein cardiotrophin 1 can produce healthy and beneficial "remodeling of the heart". 

First clinical trials on humans can be expected in three to four years time. The study was carried out by researchers from Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa in Canada, and Fate Therapeutics Inc. in San Diego, US. It was funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Ontario Research Fund, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada and Fate Therapeutics.



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