Dr. Charles Antzelevitch

Cardiac researcher lectures in China

Published Jun 2, 2014 at 4:00pm

Dr. Charles Antzelevitch, executive director and director of research of the Cardiac Research Institute at Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in Utica recently conducted a lecture tour in China where he was invited to lecture on novel therapies for atrial fibrillation as well as therapies for sudden cardiac death syndromes, including the Brugada syndrome.

With 14 lectures in seven cities throughout China, which were also telecast to multiple sites, Dr. Antzelevitch is said to have reached over 40,000 Chinese cardiologists. 

Studies conducted at the Cardiac Research Institute at Masonic Medical Research Laboratory have uncovered the mechanism by which Wenxin Keli, a Traditional Chinese Medicine, works to suppress atrial fibrillation, which involves a fluttering of the upper chamber of the heart. It is the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. It affects an estimated 2.7 million Americans and 5.25 million Chinese. Its incidence increases sharply with age, developing in one in 10 individuals as they approach 80 years of age. Laboratory scientists discovered that this Traditional Chinese Medicine exerts its affect via a unique action involving atrial-selective block of the sodium channels in the heart.

In the process of studying the effects of Wenxin Keli on atrial fibrillation, scientists found that it also blocks a potassium current known as the transient outward current, which is known to play a role in the development of some inherited sudden cardiac death syndromes. They proceeded to demonstrate that the Traditional Chinese Medicine in concert with quinidine prevented the development of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias developing in models of Brugada syndrome. Both papers were published in Heart Rhythm journal.

According to Antzelevitch “it is interesting how a mixture of herb extracts was combined over the span of thousands of years to develop a TCM that is effective in the setting of AF and other heart ailments.  It is also fascinating that this plant extract exerts its effects via a mechanism that was discovered by Western Medicine only seven years ago.” Atrial-selective sodium channel block was identified as an anti-AF mechanism by Laboratory scientists in 2007.

The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory is a not-for-profit institute dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for all. The institute’s primary mission is to conduct high quality basic and clinical research aimed at generating knowledge and information necessary for development of the medical cures and treatments of tomorrow. The Laboratory is also committed to providing education and training to basic scientists, clinical researchers and students who will perpetuate and extend the fight against disease. Visit www.mmrl.edu to learn more.