Anticoagulants are crucial for avoiding harmful blood clots, but they also raise the possibility of severe bleeding. If additional research confirms the potential of a novel molecule, blood thinners may no longer increase the risk of bleeding in the future.
The novel drug deliberately targets just one clotting pathway as opposed to all clotting pathways to prevent thrombosis, allowing clotting to proceed without a risk of bleeding or toxicity.
Blood thinners, often known as anticoagulants, work to dissolve and prevent blood clots, semi-solid blood cell clumps, and other things that might obstruct blood flow. However, anticoagulants sometimes function too effectively, which prevents clotting altogether and causes excessive bleeding from the inside or outside.
In a recent study, scientists from the Universities of British Columbia (UBC) and Michigan introduced a novel substance called MPI 8 that may one day make anticoagulants significantly safer.
At the location of an internal or external wound, blood clots often develop, stop the bleeding, and enable the body to start healing. Internal clots can fill the bloodstream or prevent blood flow to vital organs like the heart, brain, and lungs when they become loose. A heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism may be the outcome.
What are Blood thinners?
Blood clots, which can result in a heart attack or stroke, can be avoided by taking blood thinners by mouth, vein, or skin. If you have heart issues like a valve disease or an erratic heartbeat, you could require them.
Blood clots can obstruct the heart, lungs, or brain from receiving blood. You might need to take blood-thinning medicine to stop this.
It’s critical to follow the directions on the label precisely. The drug won’t be as effective if you don’t take it regularly. Extreme bleeding can result from taking too much.
What blood thinners do?
To prevent blood cells from clumping together in the veins and arteries, several drugs thin the blood. Others work to stop blood clots by lengthening the time it takes for them to form. These are referred to as antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications, respectively.
People who have been given a heart disease diagnosis frequently receive anticoagulant prescriptions from their doctors. The word “coagulate” is a medical phrase that implies “to clot.” By prolonging the time it takes for your blood to clot, these blood thinners prevent blood clots.
Clots are prevented from developing by anticoagulants. Common blood thinners that prevent clotting include:
- warfarin (Jantoven, Coumadin)
- Lovenox, enoxaparin
Newer anticoagulants with reduced risk of consequences from bleeding include:
- Pradaxa’s dabigatran
- (Eliquis) apixaban
- Xarelto (rivaroxaban)
Antiplatelet medications, on the other hand, stop blood cells, known as platelets, from congregating and creating clots. These include:
- (Plavix) clopidogrel
- periantine dipyridamole
- (Ticlid) ticlopidine
What blood thinner is best for you will be decided by your doctor. The dosage you receive will be closely watched, and a prothrombin time (PT) test may occasionally be performed. Your INR, or international normalised ratio, is determined by this blood test.
The INR measures how quickly your blood clots. A person’s medical history determines the optimum INR rate for them. You can stop yourself from bleeding excessively or clotting too quickly by staying within your INR range.
To stop a blood clot from developing, medications that are anticoagulant and antiplatelet are both utilized. To break a blood clot that has already formed, like in the case of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism, for instance, a class of drugs known as thrombolytics may be utilized.
Creating MPI 8 to focus on blood clots
Dr. Jay Kizhakkedathu, the study’s principal author, said: “This is very, very interesting and exciting work.”
Dr. Kizhakkedathu remarked, “You know, we have been doing this for many years, but we finally were able to uncover a molecule which is a blood thinner, but which could help a lot of people.
The chemicals involved in blood coagulation that the researchers concentrated on included polyphosphate. Dr. James Morrissey, one of the study’s co-authors, had previously identified it as a prospective therapeutic target.
Dr. Morrissey said in a news release why the research team decided to focus on polyphosphate, saying it may be “a safer target to go after with an antithrombotic drug because it would just slow down these clotting reactions — even if we take out 100% of the action of the polyphosphate.”
However, it can be challenging to target a single molecule in the blood. According to Dr. Kizhakkedathu, polyphosphate is a negatively charged molecule electrically. It is polyanionic, which means that it has several pockets of negative charge. An anionic molecule, on the other hand, has a single negative charge.
MPI 8 stands for “Macromolecular Polyanion Inhibitor 8.”
“Ionic charges are present throughout our bodies. Nearly every surface in our body is polyanionic, including the surfaces of cells and proteins, according to Dr. Kizhakkedathu. We require highly specialised agents that can bind to polyphosphate, a very precise polyanion.
Because there are so many negatively charged anions in the blood, previous attempts to target polyphosphate with cations, positively charged compounds, were toxic because they bound indiscriminately with so many of them.
According to Dr. Kizhakkedathu, the scientists were able to pinpoint a class of molecules known as the MPIs that possessed “very special properties.” “However, it raises the charge density once it has located its target. It binds very tightly and specifically, he continued.
A breakthrough finding might help future research.
As of now, MPI 8 has been tested on mice by the study’s authors, who discovered that it effectively prevents blood clots without being harmful or increasing the risk of bleeding.
For MPI 8, UBC and the University of Michigan have submitted a patent application with the goal of moving on to studies with larger animals and ultimately humans.
The team’s discovery, according to Dr. Kizhakkedathu, “will a help a lot of people if it gets into the clinical trials and approved.”
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