Researcher examines new recourse to prevent sudden cardiac death

In the U.S., nearly half-million fatalities is associated with sudden cardiac death each year. Physiologically, sudden cardiac death is malfunction in the electrical system of the heart.

In fact, among young athletes, a leading cause of sudden cardiac death is arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM). ACM is a genetic disease wherein the healthy heart muscle is taken over by scar tissue and fat in a period of time.

Meanwhile, a researcher at the College of Medicine, Florida State University undertook a research initiative and has developed a better understanding of the pathological characteristics of ACM. In addition, the researcher has developed promising avenues for prevention of the disease.

Clinically, individuals with ACM carry mutation causing arrhythmias. In the normal course, arrhythmias are non-fatal if managed and treated properly. However, the research undertaken by the researcher reveals some significant facts. It shows that exercise amplifies arrhythmias and also causes extensive death. To prevent this, the only option is to avoid participation in exercise –an awful irony for a healthy and worthwhile endeavor.

As such, endurance exercise particularly leads to large-scale myocyte cell death, reveals the study. This happens due to mitochondrial dysfunction in individuals who suffer from ACM – an inherited heart disease.

Anatomically, several thousand mitochondria are present in nearly in each cell in the body. Called ‘powerhouse’ of cells, mitochondria process oxygen and converts food into energy. Mitochondria produce 90 percent energy in the body to function properly. Besides this, mitochondria also plays an important role as protective antioxidants.

In the event of mitochondria fails to function properly, and myocyte in the heart dies, healthy muscles are replaced by fatty cells and scar tissue.