Breakthrough in cure for heart disorder

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A RARE heart condition that kills young athletes has successfully been recreated in the laboratory by scientists uncovering its secrets.

The inherited disorder, called right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C), can strike without warning, leading to sudden death. The disorder accounts for up to 5 per cent of fatal cardiac arrests in people under the age of 65, and is the leading cause of sudden death among young athletes.

Lead scientist Dr Huei-Sheng Vincent Chen, from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, California, said: “It’s tough to demonstrate that a disease-in-a-dish model is clinically relevant for an adult-onset disease. But we made a key finding here – we can recapitulate the defects in this disease only when we induce adult-like metabolism.”