Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene therapy can reverse pulmonary hypertension, study suggests

Date:
October 25, 2010
Source:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Summary:
Scientists have discovered what could be the first truly effective breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension, a devastating, life-threatening condition which results in an enlargement of the heart.

A Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher has discovered what could be the first truly effective breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension, a devastating, life-threatening condition which results in an enlargement of the heart.

Related Articles


"We have discovered an early warning system in a protein called PIM-1," Dr. Sιbastien Bonnet told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Dr. Bonnet has established that the PIM-1 cells can be used as markers of pulmonary hypertension.

"Blood samples were taken from patients to measure PIM-1 expression in the blood," says Dr. Bonnet, who is a professor at Laval University and a researcher at Centre hospitalier universitaire de Quιbec. "We were surprised to find that the greater the PIM-1 levels, the more severe the pulmonary hypertension in the patient."

He says this opens the doors to using regular blood tests to look at PIM-1 levels. "If there is a slight increase in PIM-1, we will know that something is going on." This is important since the condition is under-diagnosed and often not discovered until it is in a late stage. Without earlier treatment it has a very poor prognosis. The condition has traditionally been diagnosed by a six minute walking test.

PIM-1 also offers the opportunity to move beyond the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension to treatment. By blocking the PIM-1 protein, researchers were able to reverse the condition.

"This is a remarkable finding," says Dr. Bonnet. "We have found that using gene therapy to inhibit the inappropriate activation of this protein is a novel and effective therapy that can reverse the disease altogether."

Before this discovery there has been no agent to reverse the disease. Current drug treatments can improve quality of life but to this date there has been nothing that can cure the disease.

"Pulmonary hypertension is a rare but life-threatening condition," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. "These are often very sick individuals. By the time a patient gets to a doctor, the disease is usually well established." Individuals at increased risk of developing pulmonary hypertension include those with a family history and people with a history of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

She recommends that patients pay particular attention to any symptoms like shortness of breath or extreme tiredness. "There are treatments that can help patients live longer, healthier lives."

Pulmonary hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, the arteries which carry blood from the heart to the lungs. The condition makes it more difficult for blood to flow to the lungs, causing shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the feet and ankles. It can make everyday tasks almost impossible.

The number of Canadians with pulmonary hypertension is difficult to estimate, because it is under-diagnosed and the early symptoms are common to other conditions such as asthma and general fatigue. In addition, few studies have been conducted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Gene therapy can reverse pulmonary hypertension, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101024122345.htm>.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (2010, October 25). Gene therapy can reverse pulmonary hypertension, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101024122345.htm
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Gene therapy can reverse pulmonary hypertension, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101024122345.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins