Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)?
Critical Challenge (CC)
Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC
Markedly reduce sudden cardiac death in high populations. Lead to a new pharmacologic paradigm for preventing lethal cardiac arrhythmias.
Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC
Investigators have already demonstrated in animal models of SCD that inhibition of mitochondrial Na/Ca-exchange is associated with a reduction in ventricular arrhythmias and SCD without a change in corrected-QTC.
Using a novel guinea pig model of heart failure and sudden cardiac death (SCD), researchers (Circ Res. 2014 Jun 20;115(1):44-54) have demonstrated that inhibition of the mitochondrial sodium-calcium exchanger prevents SCD. In people, SCD accounts for 170,000 to 450,000 deaths per year in the US. Basic research focused on identifying cardiac ion channel inhibitors have failed to results in antiarrhythmic drugs that prevent SCD. And although clinical research has thus far failed to identify individuals at risk of suffering a SCD in the general population, subpopulations (for example, those with a low ejection fraction months after suffering a myocardial infarction) have been identified that are at high risk. If an effective pharmaceutical intervention was developed that reduces SCD, deaths in these populations would be markedly reduced. Strategies need to be developed to translate this promising basic science finding into saving lives.
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