Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death and disability in the UK. Current risk assessments
do not adequately predict those who will go on to develop this disease. Gordon Ferns, Professor of
Medical Education, specializes in searching for better markers and therapies and talks about his research.
Our arteries can be damaged by free radicals – highly reactive molecules produced during normal metabolism – which interact with proteins,fats and DNA, to cause cell and tissue damage. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, have the potential to reduce the effects of free radicals. Heat shock proteins, which are induced in response to a free radical attack, can restore proteins back to their natural function, but in turn can activate the immune system to attack its own tissue.
Prof Ferns’ research provides insights into the complex mechanisms behind the causes of this disease, searching for new risk markers and potential therapies to respond to this serious public health issue.
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