The Twofold Tale of Inflammatory Responses and Cardiac Health

The Twofold Tale of Inflammatory Responses and Cardiac Health
The Twofold Tale of Inflammatory Responses and Cardiac Health


Narrator: 0:00

Welcome to the MedEvidence Monday Minute radio show hosted by Kevin Geddings of WSOS St. Augustine Radio and powered by ENCORE Research Group. Each Monday morning, Dr. Michael Koren calls in to bring you the latest medical updates with insightful discussions. MedEvidence is where we help you navigate the real truth behind medical research, with both a clinical and research perspective. So sit back, relax and get ready to learn about the truth behind the data in medicine and healthcare. This is MedEvidence.

Kevin Geddings: 0:30

Dr. Michael Koren joining us live on the studio line, as he always does on Monday mornings around this time. And of course, we spoke with him last week when he was in Atlanta at the American College of Cardiology meetings and he was making a big presentation there and got to spend a little bit of time there and heard about all kinds of very interesting topics, right, doctor?

Dr. Michael Koren: 0:50

Yeah, it was a fabulous meeting. We shared a lot of data. It's an opportunity for people from all over the world to get together and to discuss what's hot and what's not in the world of cardiology.

Kevin Geddings: 1:02

Yeah, yeah, of course Dr. Koren is with us and he heads up the show at ENCORE Research Center and ENCORE does leading-edge clinical research. Of course, whenever we talk about heart disease or cardiovascular issues, it always seems like the term inflammation pops up. A lot of us think of inflammation, you know, the kind that you might take some leave for, but this might be a slightly different type of inflammation, correct?

Dr. Michael Koren: 1:31

It is. It is. Inflammation, in a general term is what certain cells of the body do to stimulate the production of certain chemicals, and inflammation is needed, for example, to heal a wound. On the other hand, inflammation can cause some problems in the blood vessel we call that vascular inflammation and that can lead to atherosclerosis and plaques and buildup and eventually heart attacks and strokes. So the concept that we're trying to understand better and the treatment that we're trying to promote is how to deal with the bad types of inflammation but still allow the body to fight off disease and other things that are part of the good aspect of inflammation.

Kevin Geddings: 2:04

So I guess that was discussed quite a bit at the meeting in Atlanta?

Dr. Michael Koren: 2:08

It is. It is and we're actually working on a number of projects right now that are targeting inflammation. So, for example, there's been a few studies over the years that look specifically at treating heart disease, not to lower cholesterol, necessarily, which is of course important, or not to thin the blood which of course, of course, important or not to thin the blood, which of course is important but to target the third element of atherosclerosis, which is inflammation. And there's a protein that is a reflection of your vascular inflammation, called CRP or C-reactive protein. So a lot of discussions around that concept is can we target the CRP, c-reactive protein and do some positive things for people?

Dr. Michael Koren: 2:49

Now, in fact, there are drugs in the market that deal with vascular inflammation. One of them is actually an old drug that's been around for a long time that seems to have some benefit, called Colchicine, and Colchicine you may have heard of because it's used for gout, which is a form of inflammation, but Colchicine seems to have some positive effects on the heart. Unfortunately, Colchicine is not the best tolerated drug. It has a lot of GI side effects. So we're now trying to look at better medications to target inflammation that do some similar things to Colchicine but actually will perform much better than Colchicine.

Kevin Geddings: 3:25

And in general if folks are dealing with cardiovascular health issues. There are all sorts of opportunities to participate in leading clinical trials right?

Dr. Michael Koren: 3:33

Absolutely, and, by the way, it's not just for cardiovascular disease. So people may have heard of the disease called lupus, which is an inflammatory disease. It's when your immune system starts to attack the human body itself rather than just keeping a disease in check and promoting healing. So when this occurs and you have lupus or other what we call inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system is triggered because of the inflammatory effects and bad things occur, and now we're trying to fight that in a very strategic way. So if you have lupus or other inflammatory conditions, give us a call and maybe something that will be helpful for you in our clinical trial world.

Kevin Geddings: 4:14

Yeah, well, indeed, you could receive some compensation. Of course, most importantly, you're going to get some amazing health care. You're going to see a physician, you're going to see health care professionals on a very regular basis, and you could benefit, potentially, from some medicines that aren't even available to the general population yet correct?

Dr. Michael Koren: 4:31

Absolutely, Absolutely. We have a lot of very interesting new ways of targeting inflammation, among other things. So what we encourage people to do is come on down if you want to be screened for things. So, for example, if you're worried about inflammation, come down. We'll figure out a way to get a CRP level on you, either through your usual insurance means or we can sometimes get them as part of studies. In fact, if you're in the right location, there may be our ability to screen you for free for these things. And if you have lupus or another problem of that nature, come on down. We'll see whether or not the type of treatments that we have available might be something of value to you.

Kevin Geddings: 5:08

Yeah, absolutely. You can learn more about all these studies, not just in the cardiovascular field but across the healthcare spectrum, by going to ENCOREdocs. com. That's spelled with an E and much like we were talking about what Dr. Koren learned from the meeting in Atlanta from the American College of Cardiology. There's a lot of good health information on another website we want you to check out MedEvidence. com, right, doctor?

Dr. Michael Koren: 5:31

Yeah, MedEvidence got a big splash there. It was presented to a number of different leading-edge physicians and they were really impressed by it and really excited about it, and so we'll continue to do that as a great educational tool. So check it out. It's the truth behind the data. Everybody wants the truth these days and the truth is sometimes tricky to get to Kevin, so you have to hear all sides of the issues, what we know, what we don't know and what we're learning, and then the truth comes out when you have that kind of exercise between really educated people, really entertaining people and people that really care about the public.

Kevin Geddings: 6:06

Yeah, this is good quality information. You know not to trash, Dr. Google, but this is the kind of information you really want to research and understand and you can get some of that and learn more by going to MedEvidence. com. MedEvidence. com, and if you have friends and family who are searching for health care information and data online, point them to that website. Dr. Michael Koren, we.

Dr. Michael Koren: 6:30

I'll also point out that Dr. Google references MedEvidence as well.

Kevin Geddings: 6:35

At least he got that right. Dr. Koren, thank you very much. We hope you have a great day and a great week, okay.

Dr. Michael Koren: 6:41

All right, you too. Take care, Kevin. Bye-bye.

Narrator: 6:44

Thanks for joining the MedEvidence podcast. To learn more, head over to MedEvidence. com or subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.


The mysteries of inflammation: deciphering how the flames of inflammation can both heal wounds and incite a series of events leading to cardiovascular diseases. Prepare to be enlightened as we explore the dual nature of this biological response and the groundbreaking research aimed at harnessing its power for our well-being.

In a conversation with Kevin Geddings and Dr. Michael Koren, we tackle the promising frontiers of treating vascular inflammation and how repurposed medications, like Colchicine, are showing surprising benefits for heart health. Delving into the interconnected world of immune system diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, we uncover the strategic approaches in clinical trials that could revolutionize the management of these conditions. For anyone touched by cardiovascular concerns or simply fascinated by medical innovation, this episode offers a glimpse into the evolving battle against pervasive health challenges.

Be a part of advancing science by participating in clinical research

Recording Date: April 15, 2024
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Music: Storyblocks - Corporate Inspired