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Protein Inhibitor Drug Shows Promise Preventing Artery Disease In High-Risk Individuals

25 December 2016, 9:30 am EST By Saranya Palanisamy Tech Times
A protein inhibitor drug could help in preventing diseases like stroke and heart attack, reports a new study. The research team experimented on mice and established that the drug hindered the movement of cultured coronary artery smooth muscle cells and stopped the jamming of arteries and bypass implants.  ( China Photos | Getty Images )

A protein-inhibiting drug is found to show promising effects in preventing artery diseases in high-risk people that include patients with stroke and heart attack, caused by blockage of blood vessels.

What Are Artery Diseases?

William Fay, M.D., at the University of Missouri School of Medicine explained the conditions leading to heart attack. He described arteries as live hosepipes that expand and contract themselves to control the supply of blood to all organs and muscles in the human body.

Sometimes, in people with conditions like high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes, the blood vessels severely swell up and the smooth muscle cells in the artery walls alter their basic nature. Slowly, they start hoarding inside the artery, leading to thinning of blood vessels. For coronary arteries, this anomaly creates blockages followed by disrupted blood flow to heart muscles, resulting in a heart attack.

PAI-1 (Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) is a physically present blood vessel protein in the human body that regulates cell migration. In individuals with obesity or diabetes, PAI-1 gathers in the blood vessels causing blockages.

Protein-Restraining Drug Can Avert Artery Blockages

The study conducted by scientists at the MU School of Medicine suggests that a protein-restraining drug can help avoid artery blockages and thus reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack or other complications due to blocked blood vessels. This drug is believed to be the new medical advancement in preventing diseases caused by jammed arteries.

Fay's team of scientists conducted a research on an investigational drug PAI-039 or tiplaxtinin. The team experimented on mice and established that the drug hindered the movement of cultured coronary artery smooth muscle cells and stopped the jamming of arteries and bypass implants.

"In addition to reducing vascular blockages, inhibiting PAI-1 also produces a blood thinning effect that prevents the blood clots that trigger most heart attacks and strokes," said Fay, a senior author of the study, in a press release.

Protein Inhibitor Drug Can Be A New Breakthrough In Treating Artery Diseases

The research carried out by Fay's team was published in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Fay anticipates that if further researches on PAI-039 or similar drugs go well, they can readily be used to avert blood vessel blockages. He believes that no one pill can help prevent artery diseases, especially in high-risk people, but a combination of the protein inhibitor drug and few health measures like proper diet, exercise, medication for cholesterol, etc. can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.

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