Researchers are reporting that they have developed compounds that have the potential to be made into new drugs for treating certain diseases involving mitochondria, known as the cell’s powerhouse. Those diseases include Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited disorder that leads to loss of motor neurons and eventually paralysis. In lab studies using mouse cells, the researchers demonstrated that they could use the compounds to control the activity of a key protein, called mitofusin 2, that is disabled in the mitochondria of patients with this disease. Scientists believe that the finding may eventually have applications in treating other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, which aren’t generally thought to be diseases of the mitochondria. The study, partly funded by NHLBI, appeared in Nature.
NHLBI In The News
Filter News Mentions
An NHLBI funded study finds that calorie labels in fast-food restaurants have little impact on consumers’ food choices. The research, published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, makes recommendations to improve the calorie labeling policy to encourage changes in eating behavior.
A study by researchers involved with the NHLBI’s Women’s Health Initiative finds that some gene variants may contribute to the risk of hot flashes in menopausal women. Among the findings published in The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, researchers highlighted that the associations between genes and hot flashes are similar across races and ethnicities.
Researchers, with support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, suggest that sleep deprivation may be a contributing factor to the nation’s childhood obesity problems. The study, which appeared in the Journal of Sleep Research, found that young children who did not sleep for long enough each night were at higher risk of overeating.
Researchers with the Consortium on Asthma among African-Ancestry Populations in the Americas (CAAPA) study noted significant differences when compared to other genomic databases that focused on European ancestry. The findings, based on the NHLBI-supported CAAPA study, appeared in Nature Communications. The researchers suggest that personalized medicine treatments based on data using databases focused on European ancestry may not be as effective for other populations.
Researchers involved with the NHLBI-supported Consortium on Asthma among African-Ancestry Populations in the Americas (CAAPA) study found notable genetic variation among the genomes of individuals depending on how their ancestors came to the Western Hemisphere. The findings, which appear in Nature Communications, could serve as a resource for creating genetic treatments for individuals of African ancestry.
In African Americans, a higher resting heart rate may mean greater risk of death or hospitalization for heart failure, a new study indicates. Researchers have already shown that an increased resting heart rate is associated with worse outcomes in mostly white populations, but its significance in African Americans has been unclear until now. A “resting” heart rate is measured when a person is sitting or lying down. The study, partly funded by NHLBI, was published in JAMA Cardiology.
Researchers are reporting new insight into how the body protects itself against dangerous arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms, that can accompany fever. In lab studies, they showed that mice lacking a certain protein called FHF2 experience abnormal heart rhythms as their body temperature slightly increases and that rhythms return to normal when body temperature is returned to normal. The finding demonstrates that FHF2 plays a key role in protecting against irregular heart rhythms and suggests that therapies that target the protein may help control heart rhythm during fever-induced arrhythmias and fever-induced seizures, the researchers say. The study, partly funded by NHLBI, appeared in Nature Communications.
Researchers are reporting new evidence that an increase in the amount of belly fat, especially “hidden fat” deep in the gut, is associated with a higher risk of developing heart disease. The study also demonstrated that the density of stomach fat is as important as how much fat you have. In particular, the researchers found that lower density abdominal fat was associated with a higher risk for heart disease. The six-year study included more than 1,000 adults. It was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Researchers are reporting new evidence that drinking tea is good for the heart. In the study, the researchers evaluated more than 6,000 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), which is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). They found that adults who drank at least one cup of tea per day had a slower progression of coronary artery calcium (a marker for subclinical heart disease) and a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke, compared to adults who did not drink tea. The study, funded by NHLBI, was published in The American Journal of Medicine.