Sumary of Cholesterol jab: why gene silencing drugs may work better than current treatments:
- It will mainly be prescribed to patients who suffer with a genetic condition that leads to high cholesterol, those who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke, or those who haven’t responded well to other cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins.
- There has been plenty of excitement surrounding the approval of the drug, both because of what it may be able to achieve, and because the drug uses a technique known as “gene silencing”.
- Until now, most treatments using gene silencing technology have been used to treat rare genetic diseases.
- This means the cholesterol jab will be one of the first gene silencing drugs used to treat people on a wider scale.
- Researchers are also currently investigating whether gene silencing could be used to treat a wide variety of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
- Gene silencing Gene silencing drugs work by targeting a specific type of RNA (ribonucleic acid) in the body, called “messenger” RNA.
- RNAs are found in every cell of the body, and play an important role in the flow of genetic information.
- But messenger RNA (mRNA) is one of the most important types of RNA our body has, as it copies and carries genetic instructions from our DNA and makes specific proteins depending on the instructions.