Compound cuts heart attack damage, research shows

A compound has been discovered that could lead to new treatments for heart attacks as well as methods to protect hearts during open heart surgery, US researchers say.

Electrocardiogram
Electrocardiogram

The researchers, from Stanford and Indiana schools of medicine, found that administering a compound called Alda-1 reduced heart muscle damage in experiments involving rats.

Although the Alda-1 molecule reduced heart tissue damage in laboratory tests, the researchers stress that it will require further work to refine the compound into a version that would be potentially effective and safe for human use.

The benefit of the compound could extend to about 40 per cent of people of East Asian decent, who carry a mutated form of the ALDH2 enzyme, which puts them at increased risk of cardiovascular damage, say the researchers.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

Science Online 2008

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