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Thailand launches new study on effective treatment of Brugada syndrome

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Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Medicine and 10 leading institutions in Thailand are looking for ways to treat Brugada syndrome effectively, top virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Brugada syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes abnormal heart rhythms and can cause sudden cardiac death. It was named after Spanish cardiologists Pedro and Josep Brugada, who described the condition in 1992, while their brother Ramon was the first to pinpoint the potential genetic cause in 1998.

This condition has been detected among many Thais, especially those in the North and Northeast.

“According to Dr Koonlawee Nademanee and his team's 1997 study on 27 patients, 16 were found to have electrocardiogram readings similar to Brugada syndrome. The patients were mostly from the Northeast,” Yong said.

He added that the university and 10 institutions have received funding from the National Research Council to study the syndrome on 239 patients and a control group of 478 persons using genetic sequencing.

“The study found a mutation of the SCN5A gene among 15 per cent of volunteers, but not everyone faces the risk of Brugada syndrome," he said, adding that there must be other factors that cause the disease.

The virologist also said most patients who have Brugada syndrome are men, even though the gene mutation is also found in women.

“Most patients have been found to develop Brugada syndrome in polygenic terms, so we can create a formula to forecast polygenic risk score among Thais,” he said.

Yong explained that Brugada syndrome can be treated with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator if it is diagnosed in time and correctly.

He added that the research council has also granted funds to support a study on the effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation in treating Brugada syndrome.

"If this treatment has more benefits than flaws, then it may lead to more effective treatment in the future," he added.

Published : March 25, 2022