Dundee scientists join fight against heart disease

28th June, 2013

Heart researchers at the University of Dundee have been awarded a prestigious grant worth almost £300,000 by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The award is part of a £5 million pound boost for heart research in Scotland.

The BHF is announcing the awards following the launch of Fight for Every Heartbeat, its UK-wide campaign to highlight the suffering caused by heart disease and how the charity is fighting back through research.

Marjory Burns, Director of BHF Scotland, said, \'Through research, we\'re fighting for every heartbeat, so that one day we can put an end to the devastation heart disease brings. These pioneering research projects are bringing us a step closer to winning the battle against heart disease.

\'We couldn\'t fund the research teams here at the University of Dundee without the support of local people. Please donate today so we can fund more projects like this and eradicate heart disease for good.\'

The charity has given a grant of £293,744 to Professor Allan Struthers and colleagues at the University to further develop research into how a gout drug could help people with kidney disease.

People with kidney disease frequently develop cardiovascular disease. This is thought to occur because the strain created by kidney disease causes enlargement of one of the chambers of the heart (a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy). Previous research by this group from Dundee identified that a medicine called allopurinol helped tackle enlargement of the heart that had developed in patients with mild kidney disease. Now the team is looking to build further on this knowledge by studying 76 patients with severe kidney disease who are on dialysis. These patients will be entered into a clinical trial, half of whom will be given allopurinol and the other half will be given a dummy drug, or placebo. The researchers will use MRI scans to find out if allopurinol can reverse left ventricular enlargement compared with placebo. They will also look at its effects on the function of the cells lining the blood vessels.

This is a crucial small clinical trial, the results of which will help define whether a larger trial enrolling more kidney patients should go ahead. This research is therefore paving the way to identifying a potential new approach to improve heart function in vulnerable patients with kidney disease.

Text FIGHT to 70123 and give £3 to join the fight for every heartbeat or make a donation today by visiting www.bhf.org.uk/findthecure

For more information please call the BHF Scotland multimedia team:

Notes to editors:

Coronary heart disease is the UK\'s single biggest killer. For over 50 years we\'ve pioneered research that\'s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need our help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many mjums, dads and grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people\'s lives.

For more information, visit bhf.org.uk


For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
Head, Press Office
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384910
E-MAIL: r.isles@dundee.ac.uk
MOBILE: 07800 581902

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