News & AnalysisMedicine

Frightening Risk of Marfan Syndrome, and Potential Treatment, Elucidated

Science  15 Apr 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6027, pp. 297
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6027.297

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Summary

The biggest risk for patients with Marfan syndrome, a genetic condition that weakens connective tissue throughout the body, including in the lungs, the skeleton, and the cardiovascular system, is a ruptured aorta, which can kill them. Five years ago, a blood pressure drug called losartan was found to virtually erase the risk of aneurysms. In this week's issue of Science, on pages 358 and 361, researchers parse the molecular cascades that lead to aneurysms in Marfan syndrome, shedding light on why losartan looks so promising and potential avenues for the development of new treatments.