A stunning new study is indicating that scientists will need to completely change the way they think about atherosclerosis treatment.
A new study has come to the conclusion that a basic tenet scientists believed about atherosclerosis, a major problem that can arise from cardiovascular disease and a condition that leads potentially to a sudden death, has been completely wrong all along.
The findings revolve around the smooth muscle cells that are responsible for preventing plaque from dislodging in blood vessels, which had been believed by scientists to wall of plaques that built up in the blood vessels as a defense mechanism. Instead, scientists found that found within are cells that help cause these plaques to develop themselves, according to a UPI report.
The author behind the study — Ph.D. Gary Owens at the University of Virginia — said there in fact appears to be many more cells causing a build up of plaques rather than actually walling off these fats and dying cells, according to the report.
His team had suspected that were a small number of smooth muscle cells acting in this fashion, but in fact the number was quite large — about 82 percent within atherosclerotic lesions that escape identification from typical methodology. It means that scientists are wrong about how many smooth muscle cells are within a lesion by a very large factor.
The researchers made the discovery by genetically tagging young smooth muscle cells, and then seeing the condition of atherosclerosis develop in mice, finding that the cells were disguised within the lesion.
Ahterosclerosis is an extremely serious condition, and complications from it is a leading cause of death worldwide. For that reason, scientists have been studying it intensely to understand how it happens and how it can be prevented, and this study could go a long way toward doing that.
Atherosclerosis is a term that describes a specific form oarteriosclerosis. It happens when white blood cells accumulate along the artery wall, restricting the flow of blood. In certain circumstances, blood flow can suddenly take a dive or stop altogether, which can result in the death of tissue that the artery feeds in just a few minutes time.