Personalised Medicine for Cardiac Arrest
According to the data presented by World Health Organisation, around 17.9 million people worldwide die due to CVD or Cardiovascular Diseases. Out of these, 85% people die to sudden cardiac arrest. The disease is caused by the thickening of cardiac muscles leading to irregular heartbeats. It further results in disrupted electrical activity of the heart and eventually, its sudden termination. United States has the highest rate of deaths due to this disease, affecting the population regardless of the gender.
A Physics professor from Northeastern University, Alain Karma and his colleagues discovered 36 previously unknown genes that can cause heart failure. The team confirmed that one of those genes can result in cardiac hypertrophy—abnormal thickening of the heart muscle—which can lead to heart failure of the person.
This is an entirely new frontier in treating cardiac arrest. As the genealogy comes into play, it is possible to develop personalized drugs to fight this disease. This can also be used to predict the effects of medicinal drugs on an individual. Thus, it will accelerate the treatment process. the Honey Karma’s team of researchers take heart donated by victims of sudden cardiac arrest and study them to find out genes that might have resulted in the death. The analyse the gene expression for RNA messengers and proteins. The gene expression of a diseased heart to that of a healthy heart was pointedly different. Since both hearts had different origins, conclusion was not possible. This served as a benchmark for further research.
Karma’s team used a method called Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel. They breed a bunch of genetically identical mouse pairs. One of this pairs was induced with stressors to cause heart failure. Now, conclusions could be drawn using gene expressions. Many of the genes were previously unknown. Karma says,
“When you are comparing two populations of cell from the same person- one that has been controlled and one that is under the effect of a drug or stressor- you can compare the change of gene expression in a personalised way”.