KGH/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Depressing news on treatment for Marfan syndrome

Results from a clinical trial have largely dashed optimism that a common blood pressure drug could stop the dangerous growth of aortas in people with Marfan syndrome more effectively than standard treatments. Based on an understanding of the molecular signals driving the enlargement, which eventually causes the blood vessel to rupture, a research team had offered a compelling case that the drug losartan would block or even reverse the process—and studies in mice and a small number of children with Marfan syndrome offered encouraging support. But a large clinical trial comparing losartan and another blood pressure drug that works by a different mechanism found that both slowed aortic growth just a comparable, small amount, according to The New York Times.