Enzyme Found to Prevent Stroke and Heart Attack

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Researchers have identified an enzyme that can be developed to prevent heart attack and stroke. Researchers may now be able to tap into a new way stop clots in the arteries from breaking apart and causing stroke and heart attack that result from common conditions, especially high cholesterol.

According to the new research, when plaque ruptures in the arteries, leading to stroke and heart attack, it is from weak collagen fibers that surround the plaque seen with atherosclerosis, combined with inflammation.

The researchers have found that the LOX enzyme helps collagen mature, stabilizing plaque in atherosclerotic mice. Dr.Göran K Hansson at the Karolinska Institute and colleagues have identified that the LOX enzyme, promotes collagen, potentially leading to development of the enzyme to prevent stroke and heart attack.


The researchers say they have found "a novel mechanism" that may lead to "interesting new targets for plaque stabilization therapy." If the LOX enzyme can be used to keep plaque stable, much forward momentum can be made to prevent stroke and heart attack.

The research team hopes their findings about collagen and the LOX enzyme can lead to new ways to reduce heart attacks and stroke. The study group plans to further study the potential of the LOX enzyme.

We definitely know that inflammation in the arteries leads to stroke and heart attack. Now we know about the way the LOX enzyme might be developed to deliver therapies that can prevent stroke and heart attack.