Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mutation may explain why young athletes die

A dissertation presented at the University of Linkoping in Sweden suggests a way to predict the risk for young athletes to suddenly die on the field. By detecting the condition the risk for early death is reduced.

The scientists, in Meriam Astrom Aneqs team, have found a correlation between a, so far unknown,  mutation in the PKP2 gene and ARVC (arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy) which causes the heart to stop during hard work like in fierce athletic competition.

The findings is based in a genetic study on relatives to at 18 year old athlete who died suddenly in ARVC.  The mutation in the PKP2 gene was found in three generations.

The finding might reduce the risk for a person carrying the mutant gene but it does little for saving an athletic career:

- The best cure is to avoid hard training, says Meriam Astrom Aneq.

Operation and medicine can also help, but will not allow for hard training.

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