Tuesday November 13, 2018

Memory of a heart attack gets stored in genes through epigenetic changes: Study

A new study in London has found that the memory of a heart attack is saved in genes itself as a permanent change

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The heart attack brings about activation of certain genes which stay as a permanent memory in genes. Pixabay
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  • CVD includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke
  • The results of the study showed that there are many epigenetic changes in individuals who had experienced a heart attack
  • Several of these changes are in genes that are linked to cardiovascular disease

London, Sept 18, 2016: The memory of a heart attack gets stored in genes through epigenetic changes- chemical modifications of DNA that turn our genes on or off, a study has found.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) which are the leading causes of death worldwide are influenced by both heredity and environmental factors.

CVD includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke.

The study examined epigenetic changes- that can lead to the development of various diseases- in people who have had a previous heart attack.

Cyanotic heart disease. Wikimedia
Cyanotic heart disease. Wikimedia

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“During a heart attack, the body signals by activating certain genes. This mechanism protects the tissue during the acute phase of the disease and restores the body after the heart attack. It is, therefore, likely that epigenetic changes are also associated a heart attack”, said Asa Johansson, a researcher at the Uppsala University in Sweden.

The results of the study showed that there are many epigenetic changes in individuals who had experienced a heart attack.

Several of these changes are in genes that are linked to cardiovascular disease.

However, it was not possible to determine whether these differences had contributed to the development of the disease, or if they live on as a memory of gene activation associated with the heart attack, the researchers said.

“We hope that our new results should contribute to increasing the knowledge of the importance of epigenetic in the clinical picture of a heart attack, which in the long run could lead to better drugs and treatments”, Johansson added.

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For the study, the team took blood samples from the northern Sweden population health study. Individuals with a history of a CVD were identified in the cohort. It included individuals with hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, thrombosis and cardiac arrhythmia.

The results were published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics. (IANS)

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  • Arya Sharan

    New discoveries in the field of medical science will lead to better treatment and medicines production in future.

  • Yokeshwari Manivel

    The rate of increase in cardiovascular diseases have been a main issue of present day and getting aware of this through media is gonna be a helpful source for the public.

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Aspirin Doesn’t Prevent Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases, says Study

McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the longer-term benefits and risks of its daily use

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Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
Aspirin pills are arranged on a counter in New York, Aug. 23, 2018. New studies find most people won't benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. (VOA)

Australia’s largest clinical trial has concluded that taking a daily dose of aspirin does not reduce the chance of death, disability or cardiovascular disease, the results of a five-year study revealed on Monday.

Led by researchers at Monash University and involving more than 19,000 participants, the study known as Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE), did reveal a slightly increased risk of major bleeding problems, reports Xinhua news agency.

Head of Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, John McNeil said that the trial was long overdue and he hopes that the results will help inform prescribing doctors who have long been uncertain whether to recommend the drug to otherwise healthy patients.

“Despite the fact that aspirin has been around for more than 100 years, we have not known whether healthy older people should take it as a preventive measure to keep them healthy for longer,” McNeil said.

Aspirin
Aspirin doesn’t reduce heart attack risk: Australian study. Pixabay

“Aspirin is the most widely used of all preventive drugs and an answer to this question is long overdue — ASPREE has provided this answer.”

Aside from the risk of major bleeding problems which rose from 2.8 to 3.8 per cent, no other significant differences were observed between the placebo group and those taking the aspirin.

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Researchers have noted that the results only apply to those over 70 years of age who are otherwise healthy and not to those with existing conditions such as a previous heart attack, angina or stroke, where aspirin is recommended as a valuable preventive drug.

McNeil said aspirin remains a relatively safe medication but more research was needed to investigate the longer-term benefits and risks of its daily use. (IANS)