December 03, 2019
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and is projected to cost the world over a trillion dollars by 2030 if left unchecked. Fatty substances can build up in our blood vessels, creating plaques that overtime narrow and harden our arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, which is the major cause of CVD. Our genetics play a role in how likely we are to develop CVD, so a better understanding of the genes involved could lead to treatments for CVD in the future.
Researchers from Sheffield University have been able to identify a gene that is expressed in the endothelium, or inner lining, of the arteries of the heart that plays a role in the development of CVD. Thanks to a large award from the British Heart Foundation they are now hopeful that they can create a gene therapy treatment for the common condition that will allow them to ‘switch off’ the gene involved.
If successful this collaborative research project will lead to the discovery of a drug that will target this gene in the endothelium and switch off its expression, which will in turn mean the arteries are less prone to build up of fatty substances. This new gene therapy would mean future doctors will be able to switch off the gene in patients at risk of developing CVD. This approach would have immense health benefits and likely drastically reduce the financial burden of CVD worldwide.
Source: News Medical
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