A mutation in a gene that is critical for human development has been linked to arrhythmia.
Altered function of TBx3 is thought to interfere with the development of the cardiac conduction system (CCS), which regulates the rate and rhythm of the heart.
This interference has been found to lead to arrhythmia in an animal study at the University of Utah school of Medicine.
Dr Anne M Moon, corresponding author of the study, explained: “The cardiac conduction system is very sensitive to Tbx3.
“Tbx3 is required for the conduction system to develop, mature, and then continue to function properly.”
During the study, mouse embryos with TBx3 levels below a critical threshold suffered arrhythmia and couldn’t survive.
Increasing TBx3 levels allowed the mice to survive to birth but they then developed arrhythmia and had sudden death.
A disorder of the hearts electronic system has also been thought to contribute to increased risk of arrhythmia.
However, further research is needed to fully understand the role of genetics in the condition.
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