Saturday, November 27, 2010

Genetic Profile Guides Search for the Right Blood Pressure Drug

Essential hypertension is a complex, multifactorial disease associated with a high cardiovascular risk and whose genetic-molecular basis is heterogeneous and largely unknown. Although multiple antihypertensive therapies are available, the large individual variability in drug response results in only a modest reduction of the cardiovascular risk and unsatisfactory control of blood pressure in the hypertensive population as a whole.

We are swimming in a sea of options when it comes to treating high blood pressure; there are currently more than half a dozen different classes of drugs on the market for the condition. Yet there is little rationale for giving individuals one particular drug over another. Now, using a combination of key genes, researchers have developed a genetic profile that can identify at least one quarter of patients that react positively to the blood pressure drug rostafuroxin. The findings may help doctors avoid the trial-and-error process commonly associated with matching the right blood pressure drug to the right patient. Additionally, the "personalized medicine" platform may help to identify patients genetically predisposed to develop complications from certain blood pressure drugs. When blood exerts too much pressure on the walls of blood vessels, it's called hypertension, or high blood pressure. In 90 to 95 percent of hypertension cases the cause is unknown; but there are a few factors known to worsen high blood pressure, including smoking, obesity, consuming high amounts of salt, and stress. Here, Chiara Lanzani, along with Mara Ferrandi and colleagues found that two factors--variants of the Adducin family of genes and high levels of hormone ouabain--are related to high blood pressure.

See full article in http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/

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