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Computer Modeling Offers Insight Into What Causes Sudden Cardiac Death


Each rectangular structure represents a heart cell in the team's computer model.

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University has developed a computer model that replicates the biological activity within the heart that precedes sudden cardiac death.

Credit: Mark A. Walker

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a computer model that replicates the biological activity within the heart that precedes sudden cardiac death.

The researchers say the model yielded important clues that could provide treatment targets for drugmakers, and it marks the first method for relating how distressed molecular mechanisms in heart disease determine the probability of arrhythmias in cardiac tissue.

The new method will enable researchers to develop a treatment to keep some deadly heart rhythms from forming.

The team used computer models to determine what activity was linked to arrhythmia in heart tissues as whole, within individual heart cells, and within the molecules that make up the cells.

Although the model cannot predict which heart patients will face a higher risk of sudden cardiac death, the researchers believe it should accelerate the pace of heart research and the development of related medicines or treatments such as gene therapy.

From Johns Hopkins Hub
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