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Recovery Act: Studies of the Electrical Side of the Human Heart

October 13, 2009

When the human heart stops beating (as it does in 250,000 to 450,000 deaths each year in the United States from sudden cardiac arrest), electrical rather than mechanical problems are frequently the cause. John Wikswo coordinates a 13-member research group that has received $566,000 from NIH to study the relationship between electrical and metabolic effects that take place when the heart's rhythm becomes disturbed or abnormal. This work is the continuation of research the group has done for the last 11 years that would have been terminated due to the National Institutes of Health's tight budget were it not for the stimulus funding. "We are seeking to understand and control the metabolic abnormalities that underlie many cardiac electrical problems," said Wikswo, the Gordon A. Cain University Professor at Vanderbilt. "We expect that what we learn will allow us to better understand how to prevent and treat life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances." The other principal investigators are Veniamin Sidorov and Franz Baudenbacher, assistant professors of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt, and Richard Gray, a biomedical engineer at the Food and Drug Administration.

This article originally appeared on the Vanderbilt University website. Reposted with permission.

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  • Bioengineering
  • Cardiovascular
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Disease - Coronary Heart Disease
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