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Cholesterol medicines could treat thrombosis

30 March 2011

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Category: Research & medical benefits

blood–vessel–invitro.jpgA protein known to reduce cholesterol also inhibits the formation of blood clots. When blood clots block blood vessels, a condition known as thrombosis, it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The discovery could lead to new medicines to target thrombosis.

Researchers used medicines to target the protein, called LXR, in mice. They found this reduced the stability of blood clots by two fifths and prevented clots from blocking blood vessels. The LXR protein inhibits the function of blood cells which causes clotting, called platelets. Existing medicines which lower cholesterol by targeting the LXR protein could now be applied to treating thrombosis.

Heart and circulatory diseases cause 191,000 deaths each year - more than one in three of all deaths in the UK.

Read more about thrombosis and animal research here.