Novel approaches to stabilize atherosclerotic plaques

Cardiovascular disease has for many years been the leading cause of death in western societies and the incidence is now also rapidly increasing in many developing countries. The major clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease are acute myocardial infarction and stroke. These acute events are caused by atherosclerosis, a chronic degenerative disease of large and medium-sized arteries characterized by lipid accumulation, inflammation, fibrosis and increased cell death. Current therapy for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease focuses on risk factor intervention including lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol. However, optimal risk factor treatment does not lower cardiovascular risk by more than 40%. To achieve additional protection novel therapies directly targeting the disease process in the vascular wall must be developed. The present project works with design and planning of collaborative studies aimed to develop novel therapies for treatment of atherosclerosis based on local activation of protective anti-inflammatory immune and tissue repair responses in atherosclerotic lesions.

Project leader(s):
  • Anna Hultgårdh (Lund)
  • Jan Nilsson (Lund)

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