Heart attack help by blocking hormone

Preclinical trials by University of Otago researchers have found blocking the release of the hormone oxytocin, following a heart attack, can avoid a dangerous overstimulation of the heart. While oxytocin may be better known for its role in labour and breast feeding, specific oxytocin cells also affect nerves that control the heart. Research author Daryl Schwenke says: “When we experimentally blocked these oxytocin cells after a heart attack, we found the heart nerves did not become activated and, remarkably, survival and outcome were dramatically improved.”

Communications Biology, October 2018

First published: Feb 2019

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