Is a Cure Available?
At present, there is no cure for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. In current days, we are encouraged by the idea that we may be able to eradicate, not cure, HCM. While we remain very hopeful that new treatments will continue to improve our understanding and the management of HCM, it is not likely that there will be an outright cure within the next 20 years.
With expanded knowledge about genetics and the knowledge of who is a gene carrier, therapies can be created to help those who are gene carriers NOT express the HCM gene. This is years away from reality, but it is on the horizon as a possibility.
We have made significant advances in risk stratification for sudden death, learned that implantable defibrillators can save lives, and made marked advancements in our understanding of the genetics behind HCM.
In the coming months and years we will learn more about the use of MRI in HCM, the role of genetic testing, and how to screen more effectively. There are many exciting research efforts underway at many facilities around the world, and with the continued efforts of our dedicated HCM researchers, we will have more information as to how we can improve our quality of life, minimize risks, and live longer lives with HCM.
For those who have already expressed the gene and have HCM, there are some exciting possibilities on the horizon. There is a slight possibility that some drugs may decrease the degree of muscle thickening. However, no treatment has been shown to return the heart to normal. Research continues in this area. Developments are most likely to come from the early detection of persons carrying the gene for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and treating them to prevent the development of hypertrophy. The achievement of this goal will require much further research and is many years away from reality.
The HCMA is working with many programs around the world seeking and fighting for the “cure” or “eradication” of HCM. There are two ways you can help us advance our mission.
- Donate to the HCMA and mark your donation “research” ensuring your gift will be guided to research efforts.
- Contact the HCMA and participate in research. Call the office for more information 973-983-7429 or contact HCM by email email@example.com
Maron, B.J. and Salberg, L. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: For patients, their families and interested physicians. Blackwell Futura: 1st edition 2001,81 pages; 2nd edition 2006, 113 pages; 3rd edition pending publication 2014
Gersh, B.J., Maron, B.J., Bonow, R.O., Dearani, J.A., Fifer, M.A., Link, M.S., et al. (2011). 2011 ACCF/AHA guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Asociation Task Force on practice guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation, 58, e212-260.
Maron BJ, McKenna WJ, Danielson GK, Kappenberger LJ, Kuhn HJ, Seidman CE, Shah PM, Spencer WH, Spirito P, ten Cate FJ, Wigle ED. American College of Cardiology/European Society of Cardiology Clinical Expert Consensus Document on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. A report of the American College of Cardiology Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents and the European Society of Cardiology Committee for Practice Guidelines Committee to Develop an Expert Consensus Document on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003;42:1687-1713 and Eur Heart J 2003;24:1965-1991.