Thursday, March 08, 2007

Malaria Drug May Fight Metabolic Syndrome

Malaria Drug May Fight Metabolic Syndrome: "TUESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A drug that has been used for decades to treat malaria may also fight the constellation of cardiovascular risk factors known as the metabolic syndrome."

Scientists have been unclear as to whether each of the five components contributes to risk for atherosclerosis, or if there is another factor, such as insulin resistance, that links them together.Part of the answer has come from an unlikely source.It has long been known that children with a rare genetic disease called ataxia telangiectasia can develop an unusual form of diabetes. The disease is caused by the ATM (Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated) gene. People with a copy of the mutant gene are also at increased risk for vascular disease.ATM could be the unifying link, the experts say."We think there's strong evidence that this provides the genetic explanation that could unify seemingly disparate things that lead to metabolic syndrome," Semenkovich said.When Semenkovich and his colleagues fed mice that were missing one of these genes high-fat diets, the mice developed many of the characteristics of metabolic syndrome.

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