Research on women’s heart & brain health is gaining momentum!
Heart disease and stroke are the #1 cause of premature death for women, but two-thirds of patient-related research involves men. Similarly, there are lost opportunities if basic research focuses only on male cells or male animal models. The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada is making significant changes to address this gap. For more information, click on the full report:
“A Fighting Chance“
Exciting research from the O’Brien Lab strives to develop a vaccine to prevent and treat Hardening of the arteries in post-menopausal women
HSP27 (short for Heat Shock Protein 27) is a protein (substance) that is naturally made by your body, and was discovered as a ‘protector’ against inflammation and hardening of the arteries (‘atherosclerosis’). Women have higher levels of HSP27 – at least until menopause – when levels decline. This is because the hormone estrogen (made by a woman’s ovaries) promote the production of HSP27. However, after menopause the levels of estrogen and HSP27 decline. Interestingly, there are antibodies to HSP27 that are naturally present, and ‘stick to’ HSP27 and help make it ‘work better’. This has lead to exciting new HSP27 vaccination experiments that show promise in preventing or treating atherosclerosis. Whether HSP27 will have other beneficial effects on the health of post-menopausal women is now an active area of research.
Stay tuned for updates from our March 2020 presentation at the Keystone Symposium entitled “Transforming Vaccinology” (Florence, IT), co-sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Our presentation entitled “HSP27 Vaccination Reduces Cholesterol and Atherogenesis” highlights how HSP27 Vaccination may lead to increased expression of the liver receptor (LDLR) that takes cholesterol out of the blood, as well as reduce the abundance of another factor (PCSK9) that raises cholesterol levels.