The researchers have developed a potential drug to treat heart attack and prevent heart failure — for which no cure currently exists. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications Biology, noted that heart attacks triggered inflammatory responses that cause a scar in the heart which eventually leads to incurable heart failure.
The potential drug developed by the researchers, including those from the University of Guelph in Canada, would prevent scarring and eliminate the need for patients to take possibly debilitating heart medication for the rest of their lives.
The researchers said that the drug works based on our body’s natural clock called the circadian rhythm found in all cells of the body. When the researchers conducted experiments with the drug in mice, it reduced the production of a cellular sensor called the NLRP3 inflammasome which was behind tissue scarring.
The study showed for the first time that treating heart attack survivors with the drug, along with conventional therapy such as reperfusion, may lead to less inflammation and better cardiac repair. The researchers said that the discovery might ultimately help find other heart therapies involving early adverse inflammatory response such as organ transplant or valve replacement.