HSF Logo Pulmonary hypertension, a rare life-threatening condition seemingly leads to an enlargement of the heart. Experts from the Heart and Stroke Foundation assert that gene therapy can aid in treating pulmonary hypertension. It was suggested that the PIM-1 protein is an early marker of pulmonary hypertension.

During the investigation blood samples were gathered from patients to calculate PIM-1 expression in the blood. The outcome was that heightened PIM-1 levels appeared in patients diagnosed with more severe pulmonary hypertension. So even a little elevation in PIM-1 levels may help in identifying the condition. This protein seems to be more beneficial than simply detecting pulmonary hypertension. Authors claim that PIM-1 can also help treat the disease. By simply blocking the protein pulmonary hypertension can be apparently reversed.

The introduced gene therapy probably restricts inappropriate activation of this protein and can effectively reverse the disease. It was highlighted that at present drug treatments can improve quality of life are unable to treat the disease. Dr. Sebastien Bonnet a professor at Laval University and a researcher at Centre hospitalier universitaire de Qu├ębec and colleagues believe that an increased risk of the disease may be faced by people with a family history and blood clots in the lungs also known as pulmonary embolism.

The study was presented in the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010.