January 12, 2013
Researchers find atrial fibrillation clue
Scientists we fund at the University of Bristol have made a
breakthrough in our understanding of one of the most common heart
conditions in the UK.
Atrial fibrillation affects around
750,000 people in the UK, and greatly increases the risk of having
a stroke. It's an irregular heart rhythm in the atria, the top
chambers of the heart where each heart beat starts.
The scientists discovered that electrical activity in the
atria, in rats, can become disrupted when the heart is under
stress - such as when one of the arteries serving the heart
with oxygen becomes blocked by coronary
Like all of our research, this project relies on donations from the public.
Our Associate Medical Director, Professor Jeremy Pearson,
"This study brings us closer to understanding how atrial
fibrillation develops, in particular in people whose hearts are
under greater pressure due to the effects of a previous history of
heart disease. It's vital that we continue to improve our
understanding of this condition so we can find new treatments for
patients in the future."
The research was published in American Heart Association journal