UVA study could improve heart attack outcomes

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 5:20 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A new study out of the University of Virginia School of Medicine could improve how the heart functions after a heart attack.

Researchers are using harmine, a drug that stems from plants, to hopefully change the way heart attack patients are treated.

Harmine has been used for a while in medicine, though never like this.

“If this is successful, and we can identify a new class of drugs that we can give to patients that would really, I think, open the door to new therapies that would improve heart function for our patients that we care for here at UVA,” Professor Doctor Matthew Wolf said.

Dr. Wolf has been working on this study for the past five years.

“A lot of the treatments that we have now currently are designed to try and improve blood flow to the heart muscle to limit that injury,” he said.

Wolf and his team hope harmine will instead stimulate heart cells to temporarily separate.

“The thought would be that perhaps this medication may improve that by protecting cells from dividing or potentially improving the number of heart cells that are available to to improve heart function,” he said.

Dr. Wolf says the next step is testing compounds in treating heart disease for a pharmaceutical company.

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