Carbon monoxide exposure
is toxic to people. One of the causes of death is heart attacks produced by irregular heartbeats (known as arrhythmias). For this condition, there is, perhaps until now, no effective treatment. The main reason for this was due to scientists not fully understanding how the heart deteriorates following exposure to carbon monoxide.
However, researchers based at the University of Leeds, UK, have now discovered that the angina treatment drug Ranexa
can dramatically lower arrhythmia-based deaths originally brought about by carbon monoxide exposure, according to a research brief
from the University. Angina is chest pain due to lack of blood in the heart muscle. It is typically caused by coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries).
According to ENN
, this discovery could lead to new carbon monoxide poisoning treatments for those who have come into contact with the toxic gas.
When carbon monoxide reacts with the heart it leads to a build-up of calcium in the heart, causing a heart attack. Ranexa functions by blocking the calcium formation.
The research was led by Professor Derek Steele
, who was supported by the British Heart Foundation and Gilead Sciences (who manufacture the drug Ranexa).