|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Dear Rakesh, That's an interesting question. Aspirin is often used to treat patients who have had a heart attack or who suffer from partial blockages of the coronary blood vessels (angina) because it can prevent blood clotting which often makes these conditions potentially fatal. It does this by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclo-oxygenase which is involved in the clotting cascade. As for the direct effects of aspirin on heart rate, there hasn't been a great deal of research in this area. Some reports I've seen suggest that aspirin can lower heart rate in different disease states and one report shows that it has no effect itself on heart rate. Thus, the jury is still out about aspirin's effects on heart rate. I suppose you could try some experiments yourself on Daphnia... Good luck, Terry
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