TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A team of Taiwanese and American scientists has found a way to slow down the buildup of fatty deposits in blood vessels that often lead to a dangerous reduction of blood flow to the heart, reports said Tuesday (April 6).
Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University cooperated on the five-year research project with the University of California San Diego, CNA reported.
Coronary artery diseases resulting from fatty deposits or plaque are the second-highest cause of death in Taiwan, accounting for 27.5 percent of all deaths in 2019, behind only cancer at 28.6 percent.
Using gene therapy on mice, the researchers were able to reduce inflammation in coronary arteries, cutting down the buildup of plaque by 50 percent. The technique could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to allow doctors to intervene before coronary artery disease has reached an advanced level.
Reduced blood flow to the heart can lead to heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest in connection with unhealthy dietary habits, obesity, and aging.
The full report by the researchers was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).