Mayo Clinic Finds Gene Mutation Responsible for Atrial Fibrillation That Runs in Families
July 9, 2008 7:16 AM CT
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a genetic mutation that may be responsible for atrial fibrillation that runs in families.
Through scanning the entire human genome, researchers discovered a genetic mutation that was common to all 11 family members with atrial fibrillation but that did not appear in the five family members without it.
That helps to explain why some people develop atrial fibrillation at young ages for no apparent reason.
The mutated gene is basically a defective hormone circulating through the body and damaging the electrical properties of the heart. University of Iowa researchers confirmed that the mutation alters the heart’s electrical properties.
These findings, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, will help researchers develop ways to prevent and treat atrial fibrillation that runs in families.