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Hope for rare heart condition

10 April 2007

A possible way to prevent heart-beat irregularities

People with SQTS can be prone to dangerous changes in heart rhythm, such as the life-threatening condition ‘ventricular fibrillation’. This is due to a defect in regulation of the electrical currents that control heart muscle contraction. The existence of SQTS was only discovered in 1999 thus medical treatments are still very limited.

The team found that when tested on isolated cells, an existing drug called disopyramide appears to be able to correct the molecular defect in one type of SQTS. If the results translate into humans, disopyramide could be a life-saving medicine for sufferers. Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This demonstrates how research into understanding the fundamentals of heart conditions can provide the evidence we need to help more heart patients benefit from existing drugs.”

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