Scientists have demonstrated in preclinical studies that a drug called ‘Aliskiren’ works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme involved in blood pressure changes. The drug can delay the progression of congestive heart failure and lengthen survival rates.
Caption and Image Credit (University of Arizona): The treated image shows improved contractility of the heart, less ventricle/chamber dilation and improvement in wall thickness compared to the untreated heart.
"This FDA-approved drug has the potential to improve the quality and extend the life in properly identified heart failure patients," said Ryan Sullivan, DVM, assistant professor in the college's Department of Internal Medicine and lead author of the study, "Normalizing Plasma Renin Activity in Experimental Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Effects on Edema, Cachexia, and Survival," published in the August 2019 edition of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, as part of a Special Issue Heart Failure: From Molecular Basis to Therapy.
Currently, more than 5 million Americans live with congestive heart failure, a chronic progressive condition characterized by the inability for the heart to pump adequate blood through the body.
"That's an extra 5.6 years with loved ones that otherwise would not be possible. Obviously, further studies are needed, along with human clinical trials, but we are excited about our research direction and what those outcomes could mean for the college and the people of Arizona and beyond."
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"Heart failure is a rapidly increasing cause of disability and death," Dr. Sullivan said. "Patients suffer from progressive muscle wasting and fluid retention, which leads to discomfort, shortness of breath and fatigue. There is a need to better measure muscle wasting and fluid retention to identify effective methods for treatment and prevention. These exciting findings demonstrate new approaches that may guide future care for heart failure patients."
Source: University of Arizona