We still need answers

a researcher holding up a slide

We are determined to protect families with hidden heart conditions from a devastating loss.

We’ve committed around £20 million of research to help develop new tests and treatments for families with inherited heart conditions, and understand why some people are at greater risk of sudden death.

Clues through the skin

Sometimes a dangerous, hidden condition can reveal itself in unexpected ways.

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare disease that scars the heart muscle. The condition is caused by a number of faulty genes, one of which is also linked to dry skin and unusually coarse, curly hair.  

Professor David Kelsell at Queen Mary’s University London is looking at how this gene causes dry skin, with the hopes of better understanding how it affects the heart. This vital work could lead to new treatments for people like Cathie and Nancy.

Cathie and her sister Nancy who have ARVC

Cathie and her sister Nancy both have ARVC, read about how ARVC has affected Nancy's family

We need new treatments

Many inherited heart conditions are managed with an ICD or pacemaker, but this is a safety net.

We are funding BHF Professor Hugh Watkins to find new types of treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an inherited heart condition which causes the heart muscle to become thickened and stiff. It can lead to heart failure or sudden death.

Professor Watkins and his team at the University of Oxford have had a key role in understanding how certain faulty genes can lead to HCM and how they are passed on through families.

The Oxford researchers are now studying three aspects of the disease process in mice and test new treatment approaches for each. This work may reveal completely new types of treatment for HCM or other types of cardiac hypertrophy, either on their own or in combination with existing drugs.

Donate now to help us find new treatments