Genetic research collaboration on the cards

Scientific experts from the Chennai hospital will work with experts in the field of genetics and molecular biology from Russia to identify the genes responsible for atherosclerosis. Source: Flickr/Machine Project

Scientific experts from the Chennai hospital will work with experts in the field of genetics and molecular biology from Russia to identify the genes responsible for atherosclerosis. Source: Flickr/Machine Project

Chennai hospital and Russian institute will work to identify why Indians and Russians are predisposed to both the life-threatening conditions.

A hospital in the southern Indian city of Chennai will work with a leading Russian research facility in the fields of genetics and molecular biology, the Times of India said on Wednesday.

The Frontier Lifeline Hospital in Chennai will collaborate with the Institute of Atherosclerosis Research, Russia, keeping in mind that cases of cardiac ailments and strokes are increasing at an alarming rate, the paper said.

Scientific experts from the Chennai hospital will work with experts in the field of genetics and molecular biology from Russia to identify the genes responsible for atherosclerosis that lead to strokes and heart attacks, according to the Times report. The main aim of the project is to understand why Indians and Russians are predisposed to both the life-threatening conditions, the paper said, adding that instances of heart ailments in both nations have shown an uncanny similarity.

“Heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide, Dr Sanjay Cherian, vice president, Frontier Lifeline Hospital told the paper. “This collaboration between Russia nd India will open up new avenues at treating heart disease by understanding its genetic aspects. Given the current lifestyle that most people lead, the incidence of heart attacks is increasing. It is now imperative that we find a viable solution to this growing problem.”

The Indian and Russian teams will study the onset of atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries) in patients, explore the reason for the accumulation of cholesterol in arteries, and aim at isolating the genes responsible for it, according to the report. By using gene manipulation, both teams will explore the possibilities of discovering an effective method of reducing the incidence of strokes and heart attacks.

“Through this research we are attempting to discover a permanent solution for heart attacks and strokes,” the Times quoted Dr K M Cherian, CEO and chairman of Frontier Lifeline Hospital. “By isolating the core gene responsible for fat accumulation in arteries and manipulating them, we will significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Through our collaboration with Russian researchers, we can leverage and gain immense insights into strokes and genetics while helping each other reach an effective cure. We look forward to a fruitful partnership between India and Russia.”

Based on a report in The Times of India.

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