Researchers win big grant to study genetics of dilated cardiomyopathy

25th September 2015

Researchers in America have been given a large grant to study the genetic basis of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

The $12.4 million project is designed to help doctors better understand the inherited condition and help prevent the disease developing in family members.

With the money, the researchers at Ohio State University’s dilated cardiomyopathy consortium will look at the characteristics of the disease in 1,300 DCM patients and up to 5,200 family members.

They will perform gene testing, looking at all the protein-encoding parts of all their genes, to try to improve the numbers of family members being told about the risk of them also being diagnosed with the disease.

"We believe the new information derived from this study will help doctors understand DCM as a genetic disease," said lead investigator Dr Ray Hershberger, a specialist in heart medicine at the university. "

He said the new insight would also help prevent family members getting the associated health problems and the risk of early death from heart failure.

Collaborating in the consortium are researchers from many other hospitals in the US departments of genome sciences and bioethics and humanities at the University of Washington and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The money has come from the country’s medical research agency – the National Institutes of Health. It says it supports scientific studies that turn discovery into health.