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 Ageing heart can be prevented

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Tigris
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PostSubject: Ageing heart can be prevented   Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:07 pm

Ageing heart can be prevented

HONG KONG - SCIENTISTS in Japan said they have uncovered evidence that shows it may be possible to delay or prevent heart failure in humans.

In a paper published in the journal Circulation, Tetsuo Shioi, lead researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, and his team described how they managed to suppress a variety of the P13K gene in a group of elderly mice.

The gene regulates the lifespan of cells and plays a role in the ageing of tissues. In previous studies, suppression of this gene extended the lifespan of the roundworm and kept the hearts of old fruit flies healthy.

Compared with another group of mice in which the gene was left intact, mice with the suppressed gene had improved cardiac function, less fibrosis (which makes the heart inflexible) and fewer biological markers of ageing.

'This study showed that ageing of the heart can be prevented by modifying the function of insulin and paves the way to preventing age-associated susceptibility to heart failure,' Mr Shioi said.

Old age is a major risk factor for heart failure, a condition when the heart is unable to pump enough blood around to supply the oxygen the body needs, the World Health Organisation says. -- REUTERS
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