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Scientists from the CIMA from the University of Navarra investigate a molecule for diagnosing hypertensive cardiopathy

The proposition of the researchers is to look for solutions for more than four million patients here in Spain

Descripcion de la imagen
From left to right: Carolyn F. Deacon, Javier Díez and Kristian Wachtell. FOTO: Manuel Castells
24/04/07 12:00 Mª Pilar Huarte

Scientists from the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) from the University of Navarra investigate whether cardiotrophin 1, a molecule that can be measured in blood, can be used as a diagnostic marker for hypertensive cardiopathy. After studying the relationship of this molecule with this disease, the experts believe that cardiotrophin 1 is useful for preventing or controlling the damaging effects on the heart suffered by patients with this disease. In Spain, there are four million patients with this illness, a number that supposes fifty percent of the eight million patients with high blood pressure.

The research on this cardiovascular illness was shared during the course of the International Congress Frontiers in Transnational Research of Cardiovascular Diseases, held in the CIMA, and in which dozens of Spanish, Germans, British and Dutch scientists participated.

Currently, these types of illnesses are the number one cause of doctor's visits, hospitalization and death worldwide. As it is foreseen that their frequency will increase in the next decades, experts propose the soonest possible application of the latest biomedical and biotechnological advances for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of these pathologies.

Dr. Javier Díez, Director of the field of Cardiovascular Sciences of the CIMA and coordinator for the field Molecular Cardiology for the University Hospital, explained a special advantage of cardiotrophin 1: "As it intervenes in the earliest phases of hypertensive cardiopathy, if we act on it we can prevent complications such as cardiac insufficiency, atrial fibrillation, strokes and even patient death." cardiotrofina 1: "Como interviene en las fases más tempranas de la cardiopatía hipertensiva, si actuamos sobre ella podremos prevenir complicaciones como insuficiencia cardiaca, fibrilación auricular, infarto cerebral (ictus) o la muerte del paciente".

The speakers also touched on aspects of high blood pressure, which affects more than 25% of the adult population. For example, they revised the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lesions that this pathology produces in the heart, the brain and the kidneys, saying that is one of the primary causes of problems such as cardiac insufficiency, vascular dementia and kidney failure. In addition, they studied the harmful impact of diabetes and obesity on the heart and the arteries. In this sense, they presented "pharmaceutical advances that can lead to a revolution in the current therapy used," according to Dr. Díez. Finally, they spoke of atherosclerosis (arterial hardening), the most common illness and with the worst consequences. They also analyzed the use of biomarkers for early detection of future strokes (whether cerebral or heart attacks) and cellular therapy in order to minimize its consequences.

Among the scientists who attended the conference were the following: Dr. Carolyn F. Deacon, from the Panum Institute of the University of Copenhague, and Dr. Kristian Wachtell, from the Heart Center of Rigshospitalet, also from the Danish capital.