Tuesday January 21, 2020

Scientists Develop A New Technique to Measure Blood Clot

The technique, led by the University of Exeter researchers, investigates a part of the blood clotting process which focuses on the ways in which platelets from blood samples clump together.

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blood
The researchers discovered that the enzyme NADPH Oxidase is critically important for the generation of free radicals, the stimulation of blood clotting and the promotion of blood vessel damage in patients. Pixabay

Scientists have developed a new technique that allows them to measure blood clotting as well as the formation of free radicals, that leads to the build-up of blood clots, which in turn cause heart disease, stroke and dementia.

The technique, led by the University of Exeter researchers, investigates a part of the blood clotting process which focuses on the ways in which platelets from blood samples clump together.

“This method may be useful for future studies looking into new anti-platelet treatments for diseases such as diabetes, where clotting is disturbed and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke,” according to the study detailed in the Haematologica journal.

blood
The technique, led by the University of Exeter researchers, investigates a part of the blood clotting process which focuses on the ways in which platelets from blood samples clump together. Pixabay

The researchers discovered that the enzyme NADPH Oxidase is critically important for the generation of free radicals, the stimulation of blood clotting and the promotion of blood vessel damage in patients.

They successfully used the technique in mice and human cells. Their aim is to better understand how blood cells function, which will help to develop new drugs against blood clotting diseases or to test the risk of clotting diseases in patients.

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“We’re really excited to discover this new technique and its potential to understand how blood vessel diseases develop. For the first time, we can now simultaneously measure blood clotting and the formation of free radicals,” said lead author Giordano Pula, from the Exeter Medical School.

“We know they play a key role in blood vessel damage caused by ageing, diabetes, obesity and chronic inflammation. We’re currently using this technique in our efforts to develop a new treatment to protect the blood vessels in diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, obesity, and vascular dementia,” Pula added. (IANS)

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Harmful Alcohol Consumption May Damage Heart Tissue: Study

Heavy alcohol drinking may damage heart tissue

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Researchers have found that excessive alcohol consumption increases level of blood biomarkers. Pixabay

A pattern of harmful alcohol consumption, or heavy drinking, increases level of blood biomarkers indicating heart tissue damage, according to a new study.

“By measuring the level of certain molecules in the blood, we were able to find that heavy drinkers are much more likely to have subclinical heart damage than people who drink less heavily,” said study author Olena Iakunchykova from the Arctic University of Norway.

For the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers utilised certain signs to define the participants’ drinking habits as heavy/harmful: having six or more drinks on one occasion; feeling hungover or drunk; needing a drink first thing in the morning; having experienced adverse consequences in their personal life because of drinking; having a family member or loved one who is concerned about their drinking.

Any or all of these signs were indications of a level of drinking that is damaging to cardiovascular health.

To determine the effects of varying levels of alcohol consumption on the heart, researchers examined blood samples from 2,525 adults, ages 35-69, from the year 2015 to 2018, from the Know Your Heart study.

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People who consume excess alcohol have subclinical heart damage. Pixabay

According to the researchers, 2,479 of the participants were from the general population of Arkhangelsk, a city in Northwest Russia, while the other 278 participants were patients diagnosed with and being treated for alcoholism at the Arkhangelsk Regional Psychiatric Hospital.

The researchers categorised adults based on their self-reported alcohol consumption habits and included those who drank no alcohol, those who consumed alcohol but didn’t experience the signs of heavy/harmful drinking, and heavy drinkers who met the criteria for harmful drinking.

Blood samples included three important measures, or biomarkers, of heart health: high sensitivity cardiac Troponin T, a measure of heart injury; N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, a marker of cardiac wall stretch; and High sensitivity C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation.

Researchers found that the hospital patient sample, which had the most extreme drinking pattern, had the highest levels of all three biomarkers, compared to non-problem drinkers in the general population.

The hospital patients’ biomarkers for heart injury was 10.3 per cent higher; cardiac wall stretch was 46.7 per cent higher; and inflammation 69.2 per cent higher, compared to non-problem drinkers in the general population, the study said.

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According to the study, in the general population sample, the blood marker for cardiac wall stretch was 31.5 per ceny higher among drinkers with harmful drinking patterns compared to non-problem drinkers.

“Our results suggest that people who drink heavily are creating higher than normal levels of inflammation in their bodies that have been linked to a wide range of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease,” Iakunchykova said. (IANS)