Patient-Funded Research to Help Prevent Afib

A favorite presenter at the Get in Rhythm. Stay in Rhythm.® Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conferences for the past two years has been Professor Bianca Brundel, PhD, from the physiology department at the Amsterdam University Medical Center in The Netherlands.

Dr. Brundel shared with us information on testing how toxic triggers drive afib progression and how those findings will be used to discover effective treatments and diagnostics. She also discussed patient involvement in research, including how to get involved.

Based on this, we in the patient community have stepped up to help fund some of Dr. Brundel’s research. For example, she and her colleagues recently showed that structural damage to the heart results from “derailment in cardiomyocyte proteostasis” and that this damage could be counteracted by heat shock proteins (HSPs).

A potent non-toxic drug called GGA (geranylgeranylacetone) can induce heat shock proteins in the heart. In a dog model of afib, they showed that oral treatment with this drug prevents damage and protects against afib onset and progression.

With our help as a patient community, they aim to conduct the GGA Atrial Fibrillation Study to determine the effect of GGA on the development of afib. This could lead to more effective treatments for afib.

Learn more about this upcoming study and how we can help at:  

Patient-Funded Research By Professor Bianca Brundel Into How to Prevent Afib

2 Responses to Patient-Funded Research to Help Prevent Afib

  • Carl Buenzow says:

    I had the Watchman procedure done last year. I still get Afib from time to time. Are there ways/meds to stop this from happening ?

    • says:

      Hi, Carl,

      Thank you for sharing your afib story about your Watchman procedure. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum ( to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story and questions there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience.

      You’ll need to join to see and participate in the discussion. To do so, go to, and click on the big red button that says, “Sign Up”. Once you sign up by registering your email address, your preferred username, and a password, you’ll receive an email to confirm your interest in joining the forum. Click on the confirmation link in that email, and you are ready to go. You’ll be able to log into the forum, read the discussions, and participate. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions, and hope.

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