Heart Attacks and Strokes

Last Friday I had an EKG for the first time in my life---very non-traumatic, by the way, it's such a simple test to have done---so an article I read regarding heart disease and it's causes on Science Daily today really resonated.

According to the article, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and about 29 percent of all U.S. deaths are from heart disease (approximately 700,000 a year). Ouch! I love the following quote:

"Even if we delay the process [atherosclerosis] by exercise and rabbit food, sooner or later our blood vessels rot," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Now that we appreciate that atherosclerosis is inflammation gone awry, we can attack its root causes. Studies like these take us closer to delaying the inevitable, and help us understand the factors that provoke heart attacks and strokes."

I find it very amusing that an MD editor of a famous journal would call greens "rabbit food."

Apparently there's a peptide called ROCK1 that mediates macrophages in their arterial wall clean-up duties. You'd think that cleaning up plaque on arterial walls would be a good thing, but unfortunately as a side effect there's inflammation--and that inflammation causes even more plaque buildup down the line. Which of course activates the macrophages to come back and start the cycle again--each time adding to the arterial plaque. So the thinking is, if you remove the initiating peptide, ROCK1, or at least block it, then you can nip the whole scenario in the bud.

Blocking peptides isn't always easy, some of them have very essential roles, but maybe this one won't be difficult to work with. It's a very exciting possibility since this could potentially save 10s or even 100s of thousands of lives each year.

Another thing, I watched Ocean's Thirteen yesterday and was astonished at how bad it was. I really enjoyed Ocean's Eleven, the remake of the Rat Pack movie of questionable quality. In this case the remake was definitely better than the original. However they've not been able to follow up on the dramatic quality of that first effort and that's very unfortunate. Ocean's Twelve was widely panned and deservedly so. This most recent effort has received a good deal of praise--and I just can't figure it out. To me, Thirteen is a lot worse than Twelve was.

What do y'all think?

Ocean's Thirteen is very odd in that you'll have a scene that plays out well, good acting and cinematography--and it'll be followed up by some crap that looks like a high school student did it. And all those schmaltzy shots of Gould laying comatose in bed--that's crap out of some over the top 1950s movie. What were they thinking? And don't even get me started on the plot! LOL


Shephard said…
I agree about the Oceans movies. :)

Tried to watch Stranger Than Fiction... NetFlix DVD malfunction, wouldn't even play.

So we watched Dan in Real Life.
Sweet enough. A little ...dull. But not in a dismal way.

I've never seen any of the Ocean's movies.

I have a blood clotting disorder (which puts me at a higher stroke risk). I have to take a baby aspirin every day. When I was pregnant with Sissy, I had to take 2 injectible blood thinners a DAY. For the entire 39 weeks. Sheesh. I was a big bruise by the end of it, but I got a healthy baby out of it, so it was totally worth it.
Cynnie said…
I never saw any of the oceans movies..
but i did go see The Happening ..

dont do it ...just dont do it

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