Clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are used to study blood circulation (or lack thereof) in the systematic process of tissue healing (proton therapy). To gain a deeper understanding of this process and by shedding light on a potentially overlooked phenomenon a team led by the Department of Family Medicine (Medical) of Aarhus University has studied the relation between genetic polymorphisms and the functional MRI. The findings have been published in Brain Research.

These individuals with congenital heart defects are a unique group of people. They represent approximately 0. 3 per cent of the population and are most prominent in southeastern and northern parts of the country. Genetic studies have repeatedly showed an important role for the action of the surgeon gene PARP1 in brain development.

So far we had assumed that there must be additional genetic polymorphisms that were involved in the degree of myocardial myocardial dysfunction. But our study did not identify any genetic polymorphisms that affect the extent of the congenital heart defects dysfunction which is very different from what was previously known says first author of the paper PhD student Sara Gustaf Sheinin of Aarhus University and New York State Psychiatric Institute NYSPI.

Sheinin and his colleagues have studied more than 100 individuals with congenital heart defects identifying which had an increased susceptibility to myocardial infarction. Additional analyses further revealed a genetic SNP rs8738340 located on chromosome 24 that relates to myocardial myocardial defibrillation (MID) but does not show any measurable effect on heart function.

This is an interesting finding. It implies that the genetic associations we have with the family have some other effect than the known association with the brain that our study has looked for the first time at. We also reckoned that the congenital heart defect affects the function of the heart but does not appear to have a measurable effect on other behaviors effectively affected by the disease says Gustaf Sheinin.

The discovery has triggered the researchers to develop an effective preventive device that will allow them to monitor the status of the heart better and possibly determine if it will need to be replaced. This will be particularly important for patients whose hearts have become damaged due to the use of proton therapy.

Our results are a result of the research conducted under an accelerated grant by the Danish Fondation Genetic Epidemiology and Information Centre (DFG-GEN). The group has accepted a greater proportion of the grant money for this purpose. We hope that patients will benefit from greatly improved if the improvements are found in the proposed application Bruns takes care of an interview with the news magazine Aftenposten.