April 8, 2004 — An experimental new drug may one day help prevent sudden death in millions of people with heart failure or inherited heart absconds that put them at chance for possibly perilous heart rhythms known as arrhythmias, agreeing to introductory animal tests of the sedate.

Arrhythmias of the lower chambers of the heart, called ventricular arrhythmias, are a common cause of sudden passing, particularly among people with heart disappointment. Researchers appraise that approximately half of the 4.6 million people with heart failure will kick the bucket from ventricular arrhythmia, which produces a fast, whimsical pulse.

Numerous of the previous solutions planned to treat ventricular arrhythmias have proven too toxic and have been expelled from the showcase.

But a consider in the April 9 issue of Science appeared that the test sedate safely avoided ventricular arrhythmias in mice bred to have the same defect that causes these arrhythmias in humans. Assist thinks about are essential to see if the medicate works the same way in people.

Drug May Stop Arrhythmias

Within the ponder, analysts treated 10 mice with the experimental medicate. The mice were bred to have a deformity that causes calcium to spill from heart muscle cells. This leak can trigger a lethal arrhythmia in individuals with heart disappointment or during exercise in people with a certain genetic defect in their heart.

The think about showed that all 10 mice treated with the experimental drug, known as JTV519, survived and never created an arrhythmia. In comparison, eight of nine untreated mice with the same deformity created arrhythmia and died.

Analysts say the drug works by patching the leak. They say it may moreover have the potential to slow the decline in heart function associated with heart failure.

“By settling the spill, you may potentially slow the movement of heart disappointment and permit patients to live their lives more normally, not in and out of healing centers,” says researcher Andrew Marks, MD, director of the Center for Atomic Cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center, in a news release. “Our idea is to take a pill rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on implants and heart transplants.”

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