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Iodide Protects Against Dangerous Reperfusion Injury After Heart Attack: Study

Update Date: Nov 08, 2014 08:12 PM EST

The worst effects of reperfusion injury may be prevented with a dose of iodide - a chemical form of the element added to ordinary table salt - according to a new study. 

"If this turns out to be positive, it could transform medicine and the leading cause of death in the Western world," said Mark B. Roth, Ph.D., the Fred Hutch cell biologist whose lab came up with the new technique, in a press release.

According to reports, 720,000 Americans suffer heart attacks annually. 

"If this works in other animals as effectively as it does in our own hands, I would guarantee you that it would be a big deal," Roth said.

Other experts were also impressed with the innovative technique. 

"It's truly incredible, in my opinion," said Rakesh Kukreja, Ph.D., a member of the operations committee of CAESAR, the National Institutes of Health's Cardioprotection Consortium, who is also director of the molecular cardiology program at Virginia Commonwealth University, in the press release.

Roth said the Seattle biotech company he started, Faraday Pharmaceuticals, is moving the work forward. With further research, the promise of dramatically reducing reperfusion injury in people could become a reality, he added in the press release.

"I think this is well worth exploring further," he said. "I am as encouraged as anyone could be."

The study will be published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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