The molecule microRNA-210 stabilizes deposits in the carotid artery and can thus prevent them from tearing, and prevent dangerous blood clots from forming. This is what scientists headed by Professor Lars Mägdefessel, Professor of Vascular Biology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and head of a junior scientist group in the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) have discovered. Their results open up new treatment approaches to reduce stroke risk in patients with carotid arteries at risk of rupturing. Their results were published in the February 17, 2017 issue of Circulation Research. The article is titled “MicroRNA-210 Enhances Fibrous Cap Stability in Advanced Atherosclerotic Lesions.” The most common cause for the narrowing of the carotid artery and thus the major risk factor for strokes is atherosclerosis, where so-called plaques build up on the vessel walls. If a plaque ruptures, blood clots can form that either further occlude the site that is already narrowed, or are carried away by the blood flow, which could lead to vascular occlusion at a different site.
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