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2 beta blockers found to also protect heart tissue
Date:9/15/2008

rugs that strongly bind in this way and activate this pathway," Rockman said. "We call these drugs biased-ligands or super receptor blockers, because they are designed to block the harmful actions of adrenalin at the beta receptor, but at a molecular level will activate other pathways that protect the cell." Rockman and colleagues discovered the heart-protection factors in a study published last year.

He noted that carvedilol (marketed for many years as Coreg and now as available in generic forms) is known as a very effective beta blocker, but alprenolol has not been fully developed as a beta blocker drug for heart failure patients. Beta blockers now are part of a standard of care for heart failure patients, who have weakened hearts and cannot tolerate much adrenalin, which is released all day long in people as they perform any exertion, even reading an exciting novel. Every year, 400,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed and the number is growing as the population ages.

"The next step is to test the drugs in animals to learn which might promote protection and which might cause more negative effects," Rockman said. "Cell studies can be tricky to replicate in organisms and we will have to see what happens, but these cellular results are very exciting and encouraging and could be a boon to heart failure patients."


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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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