Brazilians create molecule that can treat heart failure

Scientists at the University of São Paulo (USP) and researchers at Stanford University and Case Western, USA, have developed a molecule that can help treat people with heart failure. The discovery was recently published in the journal Nature Communications , after studies that began in 2009.

Named after SAMBA (acronym in English for Selective Antagonist of Mitofusin 1 and Beta2-PKC Association ), the molecule was tested in rats and showed positive results by improving the contractions of the heart muscles.

The initial objective was to investigate the problems that affect heart cells during the stress caused by a heart attack , one of the main origins of heart failure. Then the scientists looked at the effects of administering the SAMBA molecule on the body.

The results showed a progression of the disease, in addition to improvement in the entire cardiac system. It is enough now to know if the effects will be the same in humans, since currently treatments, despite helping the patient, do not always guarantee a good quality of life.

How can the discovery help humans?

Heart failure is considered the last stage of several cardiovascular diseases. It happens when two proteins present in the cells of the heart come together and cause problems in the mitochondria, which serves as an engine for the heartbeat.

As a result of the damage caused, the heart loses the ability to contract and relax, resulting in heart failure.

The molecule (SAMBA) was created in the laboratory precisely to prevent these proteins from compromising the production of energy inside the cells, and so that the heart can continue to pump blood to the rest of the body efficiently.

Heart failure usually worsens throughout life, bringing numerous complications to the patient. Therefore, the recent discovery of the researchers can be a hope for the medical community and people with the disease.