The Manchester University research, which was part-funded by us, found that an enzyme called Pak1 could be key to the development of cardiac hypertrophy. The scientists discovered that, in mice, if Pak1 became more active, it had a protective effect on the heart. This prevented the symptoms caused by cardiac hypertrophy.
A drug called Gilenya that stimulates Pak1 is already licensed for treating Multiple Sclerosis. With further research hopefully this drug could be used to treat people with cardiac hypertrophy and prevent heart failure.
We urgently need new and better ways, to help treat and prevent the debilitating condition.
Our Associate Medical Director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said: “Heart failure currently affects 750,000 people in the UK and this number is increasing. We urgently need new and better ways, to help treat and prevent the debilitating condition.
“This study has identified, in mice, a gene that could be targeted by drugs to protect the heart from failure. Since an approved multiple sclerosis drug exists that already targets Pak1, there is real promise that with more research these findings could be translated into a new treatment for people living with heart failure.”
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