Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and age-related physiological and morphological changes, along with diet, stress, alcohol consumption and smoking are among the most important risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. Despite major developments in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases, over 20% of all global deaths are attributed to cardiovascular diseases as existing treatments are far from ideal. The recently established link between low-grade inflammation, due to atherosclerosis, obesity and infection, has led to the identification of several new targets for drug discovery and development. In brief the need of both effective treatment and prevention strategies, as well as a better understanding of risks and progress of disease at the molecular level, is greatly felt.
Volume 2 of the book series “Frontiers in Cardiovascular Drug Discovery” is a compilation of four excellent reviews, contributed by established researchers in the field.
Dingguo et al. have reviewed the cardioprotective effects of medicinal herbs used in traditional Chinese medicines, along with dietary nutritional supplements, and other natural products.
The second review, contributed by Alexander et al., also focuses on natural products. It discusses the results of studies of various agents on atherosclerosis is highlighted. The importance of natural products as primary preventive therapy for atherosclerosis. These natural products were found to be as effective as conventional drugs used in the regression of carotid atherosclerosis, and are more appropriate in the long term treatment of vascular disorders. The discovery of natural compounds as anti-atherosclerotic agents with limited side effects may lead to a novel therapeutic strategy against atherosclerosis prophylaxis.
Tatjana et al. present a brief summary of key findings achieved with new oral anticoagulants, including thrombin and factor Xa inhibitors, for the prevention of stroke in arterial fibrillation. These oral anticoagulants are superior to existing oral vitamin K antagonists in terms of rapid action, dose-related anticoagulant effect, lower drug-drug interactions, and do not need regular laboratory monitoring. Furthermore, these novel oral anticoagulants have exhibited remarkable efficacy in various phase III randomized trials.
Modulation of the sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in hypertension. In the last chapter by Doltra et al., the authors have discussed the results of animal studies and clinical trials on radiofrequency based sympathetic nerve modulation. Pathophysiological and technical aspects of this emerging treatment is discussed in this review.
We expect that this excellent compilation of well written scientific articles will contribute in updating the knowledge of researchers in academic and R&D institutions working in this important field. We wish to thank the contributing authors for presenting exciting state-of-the-art accounts in this field, and for providing a critical analysis of various new treatments and prevention regimen commentaries. We also profoundly appreciate the efforts and skills of the editorial staff, particularly Mr. Mahmood Alam (Director Publication) and Ms. Sara Yaser (Manager Publications), for bringing the second volume in a timely and most efficient manner.
Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS
University of Cambridge
Prof. M. Iqbal Choudhary
H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry
International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences
University of Karachi