Navigation Links
Newfoundland researchers crack the genetic code of a sudden death cardiac killer

Montreal Researchers in Newfoundland have cracked the genetic code of a sudden death cardiac killer.

As a result, they have developed a unique prevention program in which people with no symptoms, but with a suspect gene and a family history, are being implanted with internal cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) which can restart their hearts if they stop.

"Our discovery has led to a targeted genetic screening and individualized therapy that is significantly improving survival rates," Dr. Sean Connors told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. "It's allowing people with the condition to live normal, longer lives. Individualized genetic therapies like this are the future of medicine."

The excitement among cardiologists concerns a rare genetic condition arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

"Newfoundlanders likely have the highest incidence in the world of this disease," Dr. Connors, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at Memorial University in Newfoundland, told the Congress.

The term arrhythmogenic refers to deadly cardiac rhythms that can be triggered by electrical impulses within the heart. Cardiomyopathy is a worsening condition where heart muscle is slowly replaced by scar and fat tissue.

The combination of the two is lethal, Dr. Connors says.

"People who are at risk often have no symptoms, so the first time we know they have this disease is when they die."

Genetic profiling?

The surest sign that a disease is genetic in origin is when it is manifests itself in family histories, showing up in generation after generation.

"Our diagnostic testing showed that some members of these families have a specific, genetic, electrocardiogram (ECG) mutation ARVD5," said Dr. Connors. There is a 50 per cent chance that children of those with the condition will also be carriers of the gene. It is considered the second-most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people.

The mutation causes premature sudden cardiac death in males: 50 per cent die by age 40 years and 80 per cent by 50 years. For women the rate is five per cent and 20 per cent.

Given those figures, Dr. Connors realized nothing would be lost by implanting ICDs in asymptomatic patients with ARVD5 to maintain normal heart rhythms.

Earlier this year his team reviewed the data of the prevention program which they started in 1999. They concluded that implanted defibrillator treatment for primary prevention in both sexes, and secondary prevention in males significantly improves survival.

According to Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson, there are as many as 40,000 sudden cardiac arrests every year in Canada.

"What's fascinating about this study is that they show that preventive intervention works," says Dr. Abramson. "This treatment is not only prolonging lives; it's giving families peace of mind and hope for the future."

She also notes, "This is exciting information for physicians working with these rare cases but is also important to remember that the most common causes of heart disease relate to lifestyle. It is important that all of us, regardless of family history, take care of our hearts: basic things like smoking cessation, following a healthy diet, and physical activity go a long way in protecting our health."


Contact: Jane-Diane Frasr
613-569-4361 x273
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers find pathway that drives spread of pediatric bone cancer in preclinical studies
2. Quebec City researchers pave the way for novel treatment of pulmonary hypertension
3. Mount Sinai researchers discover origin of immune cells in the brain
4. UC San Diego researchers identify factor boosting leukemias aggressiveness
5. UCI stem cell researchers to receive $9.35 million in state funding
6. Researchers find better method to help mothers cope with childs cancer and related stress
7. Researchers advocate for more education and attention regarding rare breast cancer
8. Mount Sinai researchers discover why cocaine is so addictive
9. Temperature rhythms keep body clocks in sync, UT Southwestern researchers find
10. Need a study break to refresh? Maybe not, say Stanford researchers
11. Researchers reach consensus on use of deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinsons
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, the ... affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to ... Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Park, KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... in retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States ... eyeglasses have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... Final Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to ... a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported by ... lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest common ... the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken ... regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved ... Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more ... providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced ... Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their offering. ... Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart Structures, ... involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that ... such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 According ... by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle ... GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - ... This report studies the market for the forecast period ... reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: