Beta-blockers may reverse genetic changes from heart failure and heart disease
A study by the researchers at the York University, Toronto shows reversal to the damaging changes in gene expression after heart failure, heart disease, stroke and related conditions with beta-blocker drugs. Shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling in abdomen, ankles and feet are common symptoms of heart failure.
Researchers conducted experiments with mice and rat models to study changes in the gene expression with beta-blockers. In those experiments, researchers observed changes to the heart's gene expression with the beta-blockers treatment. In their observations, researchers have found the reversal of the pathological pattern of heart failure gene expression signature. They are thinking that their study has found a large group of genes which helps healthcare professionals in heart disease diagnosis and in developing a therapeutic action to improve heart failure condition. They also found that some genes changed the heart disease patient's immune system during heart failure condition.
Authors of the study say beta-blockers helps an individual in safeguarding against heart failure. But they say further studies are required to find out how individual genes function in the heart. Lead author of the study was Professor John C. McDermott, Phd, Department of Biology, York University, Canada. The study findings were published on June 30, 2017, in the journal Scientific Reports. Title of the article was "Heart Failure and MEF2 Transcriptome Dynamics in Response to β-Blockers."
Enhanced risk of heart diseases with the catching infectious shingles virus
A research done by the Korean researchers shows an increased risk of heart attack and stroke with contracting shingles infectious virus. Researchers identified 519,880 patients with the help of "medical check-up" database of the National Health Insurance Service between 2003 and 2013. About 23,233 patients of them were affected by shingles.
Further analysis shows most of the patients with shingles tended to be female with general risk factors to heart diseases such as high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes or high blood sugar or glucose levels and old age. Other characteristics of these people are lower alcohol consumption, less smoking, doing more exercise and belonging to the higher socioeconomic class.
Their study shows shingles increases risk of all kinds of heart problems (including cardiovascular diseases) by 41 percent, risk of heart attack by 59 percent and risk of stroke by 35 percent. Shingles cause maximum heart attack and stroke risk during the first year and the quantum of risk reduces with time.
Co-author of the study was Professor Sung-Han Kim, MD, Department of Infectious Diseases, Asan Medical Centre, Seoul, South Korea. The study findings were published on July 11, 2017, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Title of the article was "Herpes Zoster Increases the Risk of Stroke and Myocardial Infarction."
Shingles : The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox will hide in the nerve cells along the spinal cord after the disappearance of chickenpox. The virus may resurface later in the life when the immunity system of an individual weakens. Reactivation of varicella-zoster virus which causes chickenpox is shingles. Shingles are also known as herpes zoster. Shingles cause painful and itchy skin rash blisters, which may last between 15 and 30 days. Risk of shingles increases with age. Direct contact of fluid from the rash blisters spreads the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking a single dose of herpes zoster vaccine if an individual is 60 years or older to prevent complications and symptoms related to shingles.
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.