Studying how electrical signals interact with calcium levels in atrial fibrillation

Human atrial action potential alternans and afterdepolarisations: electrophysiological and calcium-cycling mechanisms and effects of myocardial disease

Antony Workman (lead researcher)

Glasgow, University of

Start date: 17 December 2013 (Duration 3 years)

Atrial fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm. Also known as AF, it mostly affects people over 55, and greatly increases the risk of having a stroke. Normally, the heart’s natural pacemaker sends out regular electrical impulses. Atrial fibrillation happens when the regular electrical impulses in the atria (the top chambers of the heart) are disrupted. There is emerging evidence that atrial fibrillation is caused by either extra heart beats, or alternating electrical signals between heart beats.

Dr Antony Workman and colleagues have now been awarded a three year grant to study alternating or extra beats, which they believe share similar characteristics. Using cells from patients having heart surgery and from rabbits with heart failure, they will study electrical signals and calcium levels during alternating and extra beats, and how these are affected by AF, heart disease and heart failure. This work will reveal new insights into this process and how it is affected by these heart conditions, and may reveal new ways to treat them.

Project details

Grant amount £163,201
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 17 December 2013
Duration 3 years
Reference PG/13/31/30156
Status Complete

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