Scientists have discovered a compound that could lead to new treatments for heart attacks as well as methods to protect hearts during open heart surgery and other situations in which blood flow to the heart is interrupted. In the process, the researchers uncovered cellular mechanisms that help explain how alcohol can protect against heart attack damage. In addition, they have uncovered a possible key to reducing chest pain and the heart attack damage among millions of people of East Asian descent who are genetically unable to respond to nitroglycerin and other cardiovascular treatments.
A research team of scientists at Stanford and Indiana universities schools of medicine reports in the Sept. 12 issue of the journal Science that by jump-starting a particular enzyme they were able to significantly reduce the amount of cell death caused by lack of blood flow to the heart.
The group, led by Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, professor of chemical and systems biology at Stanford, found that administering a compound called Alda-1 activated the enzyme, reducing heart muscle damage in experiments involving rats.
Release date: Spetmber 11, 2008
Source: Indiana University School of Medicine
Filed Under: Drug Discovery