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Finnish research team isolates molecule that can lead to cardiac arrest

At Turku's PET Centre, university researchers have made a significant discovery that could help to prevent premature deaths caused by arterial blockages that can lead to heart attacks.

Sydänpotilaalle annetaan ensiapua.
Finnish researchers have isolated the molecule that can lead to heart attacks. Image: Heikki Rönty / Yle

At Turku’s PET (positron emission tomography) Centre, a team of researchers led by professor Anne Roivainen, have demonstrated that the VAP-1 molecule is responsible for arterial thrombosis (such as blood clots) that can lead to cardiac arrest (heart attacks).

”In the future, the method (of detection) can be used for any patient diagnosis," says professor Roivainen, in a press release.

Arterial blood flow is disturbed as a result of arterial occlusion or blockage. A blockage formed during a period of plaque accumulation can lead to a myocardial infarction, better known as a heart attack.

According to professor Roivainen, identifying plaque is important in predicting and preventing more serious complications.

The university research was carried out using mice and published in the prestigious "Nature Scientific Reports" journal of science on October 12.

Arterial disease risk factors include smoking, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and, in some cases heredity issues.

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