A new predictive model is able to anticipate several useful combinations of new drugs, which could help treat heart attacks, according to researchers.
After carrying out tests with mice, scientists managed to develop a mathematical model to accompany treatments to prevent myocardial infarctions, popularly known as heart attacks.
A predictive model to treat and prevent heart attacks
Heart attacks are cardiovascular events caused primarily by blockages in the coronary arteries, or the vessels that supply blood to the heart. These conditions, increasingly common in the population, concentrate a mortality rate of approximately 30% of those who suffer from it. But even for those who survive, the damage these attacks inflict on the heart muscles is long-lasting and can lead to dangerous and even permanent inflammation in the affected areas of the heart.
The proposed treatment to restore blood flow to these blocked passageways of the heart often includes surgery and medication, or what is known as reperfusion therapy. Nicolae Moise, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in biomedical engineering at The Ohio State University, United States, commented that the featured study uses mathematical algorithms to assess the effectiveness of medications used in combating the life-threatening inflammation that many patients experience after an attack.
“Biology and medicine are starting to become more mathematical”said Moise. “There is so much data that you need to start integrating it into some kind of framework.” While Moise has worked on other mathematical models of animal hearts, he commented that the detailed framework in the current paper is the most detailed schematic of mouse myocardial infarctions ever made.
Represented by a series of differential equations, the model Moise’s team created was made using data from previous animal studies. In medicine, differential equations are often used to control the growth of diseases through a graph.
But This studio chose to model how certain cells, essential for fighting infections and fighting these toxic lesions in the heart, react to four different drugs for a month. These drugs are designed to suppress the immune system, so they don’t cause such damaging inflammation in the parts of the heart that were damaged.
This research focused on the efficacy of the drugs one hour after the mice were subjected to the treatment. His findings showed that certain combinations of these drug inhibitors were more effective than others in reducing inflammation. “In medicine, mathematics and equations can describe these systems”Moses said. “You only need to observe, and you will find rules and a coherent history between them”. added the scientist.
Depending on the state of health with which the person undergoing treatment presents, recovery from an attack can take between six and eight months. The quality of care patients receive in those first few weeks could set the tone for how long their road to recovery lasts. In addition, regarding the quality of care, the principal investigator pointed out that “With the therapies we are investigating in our model, we can improve patient outcomes, even with the best available medical care”.
“It will be a few years before we can integrate this kind of approach into real clinical work,” Moise also commented, alluding to these advances that at the moment are purely theoretical and subject to improvement through later deeper studies. “But what we are doing is the first step towards that”sentenced.