Scientists Continue to Make Strides in Fighting Heart Disease

Heart Disease pic While numerous innovative biotech companies specialize in rare conditions and illnesses, many researchers in the United States have strived to maintain a focus on the biggest problems facing patients, including the country’s number-one killer: heart disease. Since the turn of the century, scientists and public health officials have succeeded in reducing the impact of these diseases. As compared to 1999, patients hospitalized in 2010 were 23 percent less likely to die within a year from an unstable angina or a heart attack, while one-year death rates from heart failure and stroke fell by 13 percent. Nevertheless, heart disease still kills some 600,000 Americans every year, and biotech experts have turned to new technologies to enable even better treatments.

One recent breakthrough in the fight against heart failure, a condition that results in the death of half of those afflicted within five years, involves myosin heavy-chain-associated RNA transcript, or Myheart, which regulates a protein responsible for heart development in fetuses. During heart failure, this protein, BRG1, begins altering genetic material in the heart and creates significant problems. With the application of Myheart in mice undergoing a cardiac episode, the RNA chain inhibits BRG1 activity and stops the progression of heart failure. While Myheart itself remains unusable in human subjects due to its size, researchers are now beginning to look for functional portions that may result in a powerful treatment that addresses heart failure at the genetic level.

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