Beta Blockers May Reverse The Genetic Changes From Heart Failure And Heart Disease
A study at the York University, Toronto, Canada, shows the reversal of the changes in the gene expression which can damage the heart after the heart failure, heart disease, stroke and related conditions with the beta blocker. The shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling in abdomen, ankles and feet are the common symptoms of heart failure.
The researchers have conducted experiments on mice and rat models to study the changes in the gene expression with the beta blockers. In those experiments, the researchers have observed the changes in the gene expression of the heart with the beta blockers. In their observations, researchers have found the reversal of the pathological features of the heart with the change in the gene expression signature.
The researchers are thinking that their study has found a large group of genes which can help the healthcare professionals in the diagnosis of heart disease and in developing a variety of therapeutic approaches to improve the heart failure. They also found that some genes have changed the immune system of the patient with heart disease.
The authors of the study say that the beta blockers can help an individual in protecting against heart failure. But they say a further study is required to find out how the genes will function in the heart.
The lead author of the study was Professor John C. McDermott, Ph.d., Department of Biology, York University, Canada. The study was 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."
An Enhanced Risk Of Heart Diseases From Catching Infectious Shingles Virus
A study by the Korean researchers shows an increased risk of heart attack and stroke with contracting shingles virus. The researchers have identified 519,880 patients from the records of the National Health Insurance between 2003 and 2013. About 23,233 patients of them were affected by shingles.
Further analysis shows most of the patients with shingles are females (women) with general risk factors to heart diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure. BP), high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar (glucose) levels (type 2 diabetes) and old age. Other characteristics of the patients are low alcohol consumption, less smoking, doing more exercise and higher socioeconomic status.
Their study shows shingles can increase the risk of all kinds of heart problems (including cardiovascular diseases) by 41 percent, the risk of heart attack by 59 percent and the risk of stroke by 35 percent. Shingles can cause a maximum risk of heart attack and stroke in the first year and the quantum of risk may reduce with time.
The co-author of the study was Professor Sung-Han Kim, MD, Department of Infectious Diseases, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea. The study was 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 in the spinal cord after the disappearance of chickenpox. The virus may resurface later in the life when the immunity significantly weaken.
The reactivation of varicella-zoster virus which causes chickenpox is shingles. Shingles are also known as herpes zoster. Shingles can cause a painful and itchy skin rash blisters, which may last between 15 and 30 days. The risk of shingles will increase with the age. Direct contact with the fluid from the rash blisters can spread the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a single dose of herpes zoster vaccine if an individual is 60 years or more to prevent the complications and symptoms associated with shingles.
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.