Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also known as atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries can lead to stroke and heart attacks. However, a fresh evidence has been uncovered that could lead to new innovative therapeutic and preventive strategies to cure atherosclerosis by strengthening the link between inflammation and CVD.
Atherosclerosis is a slow progressive and chronic pathological condition that involves the inflammatory system leading to the accumulation of plaque that contains inflammatory cell and fatty materials in the artery walls.
In Europe, approximately 4 million deaths every year are caused by CVD leading to stroke and heart attack. This has opened up new possibilities of finding an effective treatment by using a genetically modified mouse model with aggressive inflammatory disease displaying atherosclerosis symptoms.
Project researcher Aksam Merched explains that by using the latest proteomics and tools of molecular biology, they could identify immune system molecular target in the walls of the arterial vessel. They could come up with some missing pieces of the puzzle that could help them understand the cause of CVD.
Dr Merched believes that these findings could lead to the development of cardiovascular disease new innovative therapeutic strategies to help save the lives of millions of patients, although clinical validation is still required.
The long-term goal of this finding is to understand the molecular and cellular immune basis of CVD so that scientists can develop new effective therapies and treatments. Their objective is to design a novel immunotherapy to prevent stroke and heart attacks or cure patients suffering from the disease.
Investigating origins of inflammation
Inflammation is our body’s biological reaction to ease the pain and initiate healing but if left unabated, can cause tissue destruction lead to many diseases. While the aspect of inflammation is now well recognized in cardiovascular diseases, the knowledge about its cause is somewhat limited. Besides, the internal vascular stimuli’s exact nature has yet to be fully researched. The lack of an appropriate animal model is one reason for this deficit.
However, several studies have shown that the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts may play a role in atherosclerotic patients developing a perturbed inflammation in the arteries.
Collaborative research efforts conducted by US and Europe scientists will help reduce the major threat of cardiovascular disease worldwide. The findings will help scientists understand how inflammation contributes to the build-up of plaques on the vascular walls of the arteries.
Breakthrough in the history of heart disease
In the America, cardiologist Dr. Samuel Wann along with a team of scientists and physicians at Columbia St. Mary’s and from around the world, discovered a breakthrough in the history and possible causes of heart disease.
By performing CT scans on 173 ancient mummies that came from Peru, Egypt, and North America, the team was surprised to discover that 35 percent showed signs of atherosclerosis and heart disease. While cardiovascular disease was believed to be a modern disease, the new discovery challenged that notion.
This is indicative of the fact that heart disease is as old as mankind and generally part of aging. While scientists have less control of cardiovascular disease, new innovative therapeutic treatments are being studies to control the disease and save many lives.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas