Glasgow research could help patients with dangerous inherited heart condition

Researchers at the University of Glasgow are working on a British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded project to investigate why people with long QT syndrome, a commonly inherited heart condition, develop life-threatening rapid heart rhythms.

Image of Dr Rachael Miles at a computer screen

Inherited heart conditions can affect people of any age and the majority of people are undiagnosed. Often the first sign of a problem is when someone dies suddenly, or has a cardiac arrest with no known cause.

Dr Rachel Myles and Dr Cherry Alexander, both of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, have been awarded over £180k by the BHF to study the mechanisms of these arrhythmias at a cellular level and investigate the mechanism that allows the abnormal rhythm to spread across the heart.

Dr Myles (pictured) explained: “Some people with long QT syndrome are badly affected by arrhythmias and may have an implantable defibrillator. However, this only treats the arrhythmias when they occur, but it does not tackle the underlying problem in the heart.”

First published: 26 June 2018