Heart disease and stroke news and discussions

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weatheriscool
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Heart disease and stroke news and discussions

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New research identifies link between gut microbes and stroke
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06- ... robes.html
by Cleveland Clinic
New findings from Cleveland Clinic researchers show for the first time that the gut microbiome impacts stroke severity and functional impairment following stroke. The results, published in Cell Host & Microbe, lay the groundwork for potential new interventions to help treat or prevent stroke.

The research was led by Weifei Zhu, Ph.D., and Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. The study builds on more than a decade of research spearheaded by Dr. Hazen and his team related to the gut microbiome's role in cardiovascular health and disease, including the adverse effects of TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide)—a byproduct produced when gut bacteria digest certain nutrients abundant in red meat and other animal products.
weatheriscool
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Wearable ultrasound patch could warn of cardiovascular problems
By Ben Coxworth
July 23, 2021

It goes without saying that the earlier someone can be warned of an impending heart attack or stroke, the better. A new skin patch could provide such warnings, by sending ultrasound pulses into the wearer's body.

Building upon a previously developed device, the patch was created at the University of California-San Diego by a team led by Prof. Sheng Xu. Worn on the neck or chest, it consists of a thin sheet of flexible, stretchable polymer, inside of which is a 12 by 12 grid of millimeter-sized ultrasound transducers. The patch is currently hard-wired to a computer and power source, but plans call for it to ultimately be self-contained and wireless.

In one operational mode, all of the transducers can be set to transmit ultrasound wave pulses at the same time. This produces an ultrasound beam that focuses directly down onto one area of the body, up to 14 cm (5.5 in) beneath the skin.

In the other mode, the transducers transmit their waves out of sync with one another, but still rapidly enough that they form one cohesive beam. In this case, however, that beam can be pointed in different angles, as opposed to just straight down from the patch. This means that different areas could be scanned without having to stick the patch right above each one.
https://newatlas.com/medical/wearable-u ... -problems/
weatheriscool
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New tool predicts sudden death in inflammatory heart disease
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07- ... heart.html
by Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University scientists have developed a new tool for predicting which patients suffering from a complex inflammatory heart disease are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Published in Science Advances, their method is the first to combine models of patients' hearts built from multiple images with the power of machine learning.

"This robust new personalized technology outperformed clinical metrics in forecasting future arrhythmia and could transform the management of cardiac sarcoidosis patients," said senior author Natalia Trayanova, a Johns Hopkins professor of biomedical engineering and co-director of the Alliance for Cardiovascular Diagnostic and Treatment Innovation (ADVANCE).

Doctors don't currently have precise methods for assessing which patients with cardiac sarcoidosis, a condition causing inflammation and scarring that can trigger irregular heartbeats, are likely to have a fatal arrhythmia, meaning that some patients don't survive, while others undergo uncecessary, invasive interventions. A recent meta-analysis cited in the study found that roughly only one third of CS patients receive adequate treatment.
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4 in 1 blood pressure pill: Safe and much more effective than usual hypertension treatment

by University of Sydney
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-08- ... ctive.html
High blood pressure is the world's leading killer but poor rates of blood pressure control remain common. A new strategy where patients are started on a pill containing four medicines, each at a quarter of their usual doses, has been shown to be much more effective in getting blood pressure under control, compared to the common practice of monotherapy, where treatment commences with just one drug.

This first large-scale, randomized controlled clinical trial of starting this novel combination blood pressure medication brought blood pressure under control in 80 percent of participants in 12 weeks, compared to 60 percent in the control group who nonetheless had access to the best patient care.

Traditionally doctors have started with one drug and then follow up to consider adding or changing treatment—but this strategy is often not successful in practice and blood pressure control rates have remained stubbornly low for decades.
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Combo therapy cuts risk of heart attacks and strokes in half
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-08- ... heart.html
by McMaster University
A combination therapy of aspirin, statins and at least two blood pressure medications given in fixed doses can slash the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) by more than half, says an international study led by Hamilton researchers.

The fixed-dose combination (FDC) therapies were examined both with and without aspirin versus control groups in a combined analysis of more than 18,000 patients without prior CVD from three large clinical trials. FDCs including aspirin cut the risk of heart attacks by 53 percent, stroke by 51 percent, and deaths from cardiovascular causes by 49 percent.

The results were welcomed by international leaders in cardiovascular research.

Approximately 19 million people worldwide die of CVD and twice as many experience heart attacks or strokes every year.

About 80 percent of cardiovascular events occur in individuals without a prior history of such illness, meaning effective preventative strategies including medications in people without CVD is essential, if the majority of heart attacks, strokes and related deaths in the world are to be prevented, the authors of the study state.
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Antioxidant drug reverses process responsible for heart attacks and strokes
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09- ... heart.html
by University of Reading
An antioxidant drug reverses atherosclerosis and could be used to prevent heart attacks and strokes due to clots, according to research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and published today in JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries. When a type of fat called LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized and builds up to form plaques in the artery walls, inflammation and damage increase which can cause the plaques to rupture and cause blood to clot.

These clots can block vital arteries that allow blood to flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, or to the brain causing a stroke.

Previously, researchers at the University of Reading discovered that LDL cholesterol can be oxidized in acidic small 'bags' called lysosomes in immune cells within the artery wall.

Now, Professor David Leake and his team have found that the antioxidant drug, cysteamine, has the power to switch off, and even reverse, this damaging process.
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Reprogramming heart muscle cells to repair damage from heart attacks
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09- ... cells.html
by Bob Yirka , Medical Xpress

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Germany and one in Canada has found that it is possible to reprogram heart muscle to repair damaged tissue. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their approach to repairing damaged hearts in mice and how well it worked when tested.

There are two main kinds of heart attack. The first occurs when something prevents the heart from beating. The second occurs when blood flow is restricted to parts of the heart, preventing the muscle in that area from beating. The first kind is generally fatal unless the heart can be restarted very quickly. The second is generally less serious, but can leave permanent, debilitating scarring. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to prevent such scarring—at least in mice.

The work built on prior research that showed that in the case of a baby experiencing heart damage in utero, the heart can repair itself because the cardiomyocyte cells are in a state that allows rejuvenation. This is not the case after birth or later in life, as the cardiomyocytes have no ability to regenerate. After several years of effort, the researchers discovered a way to get adult cardiomyocytes to revert back to fetal-like cardiomyocytes by reprogramming them using the Yamanaka factors c-Myc, Klf4, Sox2 and Oct4. Their research showed that such factors express for cell renewal. The reprogramming also featured an on/off switch using the antibiotic doxycycline.
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