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Lab Reports
October 5, 2011

Molecules Block Heart Amyloid

JAMA. 2011;306(13):1431. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1392

Screening experiments have revealed several small molecules that might help treat cardiac amyloid diseases that are caused by aggregates of the protein transthyretin, analogous to the β-amyloid deposits seen in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer disease (Alhamadsheh MM et al. Sci Transl Med. 2011;3[97]:97ra81).

Cardiac amyloidosis is a chronic and progressive condition that can lead to arrhythmias, heart failure, and death. Cardiac deposits of transthyretin can be found at autopsy in 10% to 15% of individuals older than 65 years.

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