Archive for June, 2009

YOUR ARTERIES ON WONDER BREAD

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Landmark study from TAU shows how high carb foods cause heart attacks

Dr. Michael Shechter
Dr. Michael Shechter

Doctors have known for decades that foods like white bread and corn flakes aren’t good for cardiac health. In a landmark study, new research from Tel Aviv University now shows exactly how these high carb foods increase the risk for heart problems.

“Looking inside” the arteries of students eating a variety of foods, Dr. Michael Shechter of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center - with collaboration of the Endocrinology Institute - visualized exactly what happens inside the body when the wrong foods for a healthy heart are eaten. He found that foods with a high glycemic index distended brachial arteries for several hours.

Elasticity of arteries anywhere in the body can be a measure of heart health. But when aggravated over time, a sudden expansion of the artery wall can cause a number of negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death.

Using a clinical and research technique pioneered by his laboratory in Israel, Dr. Shechter was able to visualize what happens inside our arteries before, during and after eating high carb foods. It is a first in medical history. The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

>>>>>Read the full Press Release in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

RESEARCHERS TEST NANOPARTICLE TO TREAT CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IN MICE

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) - Scientists and engineers at UC Santa Barbara and other researchers have developed a nanoparticle that can attack plaque - a major cause of cardiovascular disease. The new development is described in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Image of a multifunctional micelle
This is an image of a multifunctional
micelle designed by research team.
Peter Allen, UCSB College of Engineering

The treatment is promising for the eventual development of therapies for cardiovascular disease, which is blamed for one third of the deaths in the United States each year. Atherosclerosis, which was the focus of this study, is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up on the walls of arteries and can cause heart attack and stroke.

“The purpose of our grant is to develop targeted nanoparticles that specifically detect atherosclerotic plaques,” said Erkki Ruoslahti, distinguished professor at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “We now have at least one peptide, described in the paper, that is capable of directing nanoparticles to the plaques.”

The nanoparticles in this study are lipid-based collections of molecules that form a sphere called a micelle. The micelle has a peptide, a piece of protein, on its surface, and that peptide binds to the surface of the plaque.

Co author Matthew Tirrell, The Richard A. Auhll Professor and dean of UCSB’s College of Engineering, specializes in lipid-based micelles. “This turned out to be a perfect fit with our targeting technology,” said Ruoslahti.

>>>>>Read the full Press Release in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

FIRST HEART PATIENTS IMPLANTED WITH NEXT GENERATION MECHANICHAL HEART PUMP

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is currently one of only three centers in the US to offer the duraheart system for patients with severe left-ventricular heart failure.

NEW YORK - Three patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center were among the first in the United States to be implanted with a next-generation artificial heart pump called the DuraHeart Left Ventricular Assist System. The surgeries took place earlier this year. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is one of only three centers in the U.S. currently enrolling patients in a clinical trial studying the device.The DuraHeart is designed to sustain patients with severe left-ventricular heart failure while they wait for a heart transplant. Without intervention, they are at risk of death.

The surgeries were led by Dr. Yoshifumi Naka, director of cardiac transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and associate professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He elected to implant the device without stopping the heart and putting the patient on a heart-lung machine. This “off pump” approach reduces risk for bleeding and stroke associated with putting a patient on bypass.

“In this clinical trial, we hope to show that this device can help patients retain a healthy and meaningful quality of life while awaiting a heart transplant,” says Dr. Naka, one of three national co-principal investigators of the DuraHeart trial. “Eventually, the DuraHeart may also prove to be a long-term solution, even for those ineligible for transplantation.”

>>>>>Read the full Press Release in our HeartVigor.com News Page.