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The Top 10 Breakthroughs in Cardiovascular Diseases

M3 India newsdesk May 17, 2017

The success of great discoveries during the last few decades resulted in significant decrease in the cardiovascular mortality rates.





Also, there is a continuous progress from an understanding of basic cardiovascular science to the development of novel diagnostic and treatment approaches. The cardiovascular disease accounts for about 17.5 million deaths per annum which represent 31 % of global deaths. Of these, 7.4 million deaths were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 % were due to stroke.


Despite advancement in the cardiovascular treatment modalities, there is a need for therapies that are safe and can improve the patient outcomes. Here are some exciting novel treatment approaches for cardiac health.



1. A Diabetic Drug Promotes Heart Health

Researchers found that a new class of anti-diabetics reduced the risk of heart disease and hospitalizations due to heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Besides lowering blood sugar level, empaglifozine lowered blood pressure and increased urinary volume and thus reducing the risk of heart failure. Empaglifozine is the first-ever diabetic drug shown to promote heart health in patients with high risk of developing heart disease.



2. Novel Approach to Mend the Broken Heart

treatment modalities for heart failure may not work for all the patients. A novel approach for the treatment of damaged heart is one step ahead. Replacing the damaged heart tissue with an effective patch restores the normal functioning of the heart. A study revealed that cells which are derived from the skin are transformed into heart cells and these cells are printed on a tissue. This tissue is then placed onto the patient’s heart to repair the myocardial injury.



3. A Miracle Drug Helps Control Bad Cholesterol

Increased LDL cholesterol can be a risk factor for developing various heart diseases such as heart attack and ischaemic stroke. A recent study revealed that inclisiran, a small interfering RNA, targets a specific type of messenger RNA that dramatically reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol-lowering the risk of heart disease. Experts say that despite long-term use of statins, the effects of the drug can be hindered by adherence. Hence, use of this novel drug can maintain a consistent reduction of LDL cholesterol over time.



4. Novel Approach to Switch-Off Heart Disease

A new wonder drug shows promise in reducing the mortality due to heart disease. The novel drug called evolocumab promotes the liver function to remove the bad cholesterol more effectively and thus reducing the risk of heart attack. Evolocumab works by reducing the cholesterol levels and halt furring of arteries. The results emanated from a recent study suggest that the drug is extremely potent in reducing the risk of heart disease. In the study, the drug was administered at a dose of 140 mg every 2 weeks or 420 mg monthly.



5. A Peptide Shows Promise in Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease

Researchers paved a new approach to treat familial hypercholesteromia which could be the cause of heart disease in early ages. A new study revealed that a peptide called AEM-28-14 has potential to treat this type of genetic disorder. It works by bypassing the LDL pathway and reducing the large amounts of cholesterol levels. Experts believe that this drug can be the most powerful lipid-lowering agent yet discovered.



6. World’s Smallest Pacemaker-A Major Medical Breakthrough

A pacemaker measuring a size of one-tenth of traditional devices is the first leadless device to be approved. This tiny pacemaker is inserted through a vein in the leg to the heart. The hooks present on the pacemaker helps to fix the heart. The device consists of an inbuilt battery which regulates the heart beat through an electrode at the tip of the device.



7. Stem Cell Therapy- Regenerative Treatment Modality

Ixmyelocel-T, a novel stem cell therapy, has been shown to improve the quality of life in patients with heart failure. The treatment involves extracting the stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow and processing it to increase the number of beneficial stem cells. These processed stem cells are injected into the patient’s heart muscle. Thus, the stem cell therapy promotes heart health by increasing the number of functional heart muscle cells.



8. Porcupine Inhibitor- A Dual-Purpose Drug

An unexpected research finding suggests that anticancer drug promotes the regeneration of damaged heart muscle. While testing the porcupine inhibitor to treat cancer, the researchers found that there is an increase in the number of dividing cardiac cells. Furthermore, it was found that there is a decreased risk of fibrosis/scarring in the heart. However, the further testing of porcupine inhibitor as a regenerative drug is required to evaluate its safety.


9. An Emerging Therapeutic Tool for Treating Heart Disease

Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of cardiac deaths globally. It has remained a challenge for scientific experts to discover an appropriate treatment for atherosclerosis. Sometimes, the formation of plaque may be due to a rare disorder named "Niemann-Pick type C" disease. In this disease, the altered genes may result in abnormal cholesterol transport in the cells. To tackle this condition, a ring-shaped sugar called cyclodextrin is discovered. The drug induces natural breakdown of cholesterol and helps elimination of excess cholesterol.



10. A Device Offers Hope for Patients with Advanced Heart Failure

Patients in the waitlist for heart transplantation can now relax. A novel mechanical assist device has been developed to the patients with advanced heart failure. The device known as intravascular ventricular assist system (NuPulse CV iVAS) provides a long-term support for those patients to prevent a decline in heart functioning while waiting for a heart transplant. Additionally, this novel approach may not require major surgical incisions or an open-heart surgery, unlike the traditional methods.



Despite a reduction in mortality rate, the control over the risk factors that can develop heart disease is not achieved yet. Therefore, there is still need for generating key research projects on the discovery of novel therapies that might benefit the patients.

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