Scientists at the School of Medicine have identified a potential way to head off heart attacks and strokes by strengthening the fibrous caps overlying atherosclerotic plaques that naturally accumulate inside our arteries. These fatty lesions can rupture, triggering blood clots that cause disability or death.
New research from the lab of UVA`s Gary K. Owens, PhD, reveals surprising new information about the makeup of the protective caps our bodies build over these lesions, and about the factors that determine their stability. This study supports recent findings that certain types of inflammation might actually help stabilize plaques. Doctors may one day be able to use these insights to strengthen the caps and prevent the plaques from rupturing.