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heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Replenishing a Vital Molecule to Rescue Stiff Heart Failure

John O'Sullivan, Institution: University of Sydney

2021 Vanguard Grant  

Years funded: 2022-2023  

Dr John O'Sullivan's team have discovered that human hearts with stiff heart failure have depletion of a molecule called NAD, however this is not found in other types of heart failure. Dr O'Sullivan's research team have replicated this deficiency in mouse hearts with stiff heart failure and have found that replenishing NAD in these mouse hearts could rescue stiff heart failure. 

This project will now test this strategy in human patients with stiff heart failure. Stiff heart failure clinics are run in Sydney and Melbourne and the team will begin to examine the role of this molecule more thoroughly in patients. Using blood samples taken from inside and outside patients' hearts, researchers will determine how much of this molecule is being used by stiff hearts compared to other types of heart failure and normal hearts. Researchers will then give the treatment molecule to patients one month before they undergo heart surgery and then measure levels of the NAD molecule in the heart tissue that are retrieve.

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