Defective gene may cause heart arrhythmia

Nov 07, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've found an electrical imbalance caused by a malfunctioning gene results in a potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder.

The medical study was conducted at Baylor College of Medicine in Waco, Texas, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The researchers say they are the first to isolate a gene called Caveolin-3, which influences the electrical-muscular impulses that drive the heart's rhythm. The scientists said a mutation of the gene can trigger arrhythmia that increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.

"This is part of a totally new concept in which the structural part of the heart is intertwined and connected with the electrical part," said first author Dr. Matteo Vatta, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor and pediatric cardiac researcher at Texas Children's Hospital. "This is the missing link between the heart's electrical and muscular activities."

He said the effect of the mutation might be enhanced by medications for unrelated conditions, such as asthma, increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmia.

The study's findings are reported online and in the Nov. 21 print edition of the journal Circulation.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Bacteria play only a minor role stomach ulcers in cattle

Related Stories

US govt sued over sea turtles snared in shrimp nets

10 hours ago

Tens of thousands of endangered sea turtles die every year in the United States when they are inadvertently snared in shrimp nets, an environmental group alleges, filing a lawsuit Wednesday against the government.

EU alleges Google's abuses hurt consumers, innovation

10 hours ago

The European Union's escalating legal attack on Google is likely to ignite a debate about whether the Internet search leader makes life more convenient for consumers or abuses its power to squeeze out rivals ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria play only a minor role stomach ulcers in cattle

22 hours ago

Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna investigated whether stomach ulcers in cattle are related to the presence of certain bacteria. For their study, they analysed bacteria present in ...

New research reveals how our skeleton is a lot like our brain

Apr 17, 2015

Researchers from Monash University and St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne have used mathematical modelling combined with advanced imaging technology to calculate, for the first time, the number and connectivity ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.