FDA Atherosclerosis Expert
Atherosclerosis refers to the occlusion and hardening of the arteries, specifically the coronary arteries.
Prior thought of the progression of atherosclerosis hypothesized that occlusions were formed over time via the narrowing of arteries by the deposit of lipids and fats in the innermost layer of the plaque, akin to sand filling up a water pipes in a household, as illustrated in the picture below, specifically the lower right-hand portion of the image.
Modern atherosclerosis experts have shown through cellular, human and animal experimentation that the mechanism of atherosclerosis is quite a bit more complicated that sediment is filling up a water pipe, but rather is a disease that is composed of complex protein signalling, inflammation and lipids storage.
Also, Atherosclerosis experts have proven that the athero-occlusive plaques found in our bodies are not simply cholesterol, but rather a complex mixture of the body’s endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, interlukin-6 TNF-a, foam cells, cytokines, macrophages and many other inflammatory-type cells.
Much of the atherosclerotic plaques are the body’s immunological response to the presence of an initial vessel injury or a vascular spot lacking in endothelial cells.
Today’s pharmacological treatments and mechanisms are not reflective of the complex nature of atherosclerosis. Today’s drugs for elevated cholesterol mostly focus on the lipid and cholesterol storage component of the disease, via the interruption of the endogenous HMG-CoA cholesterol assembly pathway.
The most commonly used drugs for atherosclerosis almost wholly focus on the cholesterol storage/lipid storage component of the disease, and unfortunately, ignore the immunologic, inflammatory, migratory, and free-radical/vascular injury component of the disease.
Atherosclerosis experts working in drug development are currently examining several potential drug mechanisms to treat all aspects of the complicated nature of atherosclerosis and plaque progression.
Contact a cholesterol expert and Atherosclerosis expert, for more assistance.