A protein attaches to tropomyosin in sarcomeres (the basic contractile unit of muscle). Part of the regulatory pathway for muscle contraction. When the muscle is activated, calcium pours into the sarcomeres and troponin binds the calcium and then causes a change in shape (allosteric change) that reveals the binding sites on the thin filaments (which were previously blocked by tropomyosin) allowing the force producing thick filaments, made up of Myosin motor proteins, to bind and begin pulling the two ends of the sarcomrere closer together.

Cardiac troponins are commonly used in emergency departments across the developed world to identify causes of chest pain.

Troponin levels above 0.2ng/ml in blood taken up to 12 hours after the onset of pain are associated with a much greater risk of subsequent cardiac events. Conversely, troponin levels which remain low signify a good prognosis and patients can often be sent home.

The troponins themselves are part of the heart muscle and are escape into the blood when the sarcomere (muscle cell) is damaged, usually by ischaemia from coronary artery disease.

Live and Learn…

Troponin is an enzyme excreted by the heart when it is in distress. In any normal person, the levels of troponin are very low and are almost undetectable. When your blood registers even slightly elevated levels of troponin, chances are your heart is experiencing some kind of trauma. It might be due to something called “unstable angina” or you might be having yourself a full blown heart attack. It’s typically measured two or three times in a sixteen hour period. Chances are, the more you're excreting, the worse your condition.

Troponin is also a tricky little substance. Car accidents, injuries, stress, broken bones or any other in a slew of catastrophic live changing events can’t bring it out from its hiding place. No, this stuff will only fire when the damage that is being done is directly related to your ticker and its levels in your bloodstream will remain for weeks afterwards. I guess it’s your body's way of giving you a gentle reminder as to what’s going on inside you.

Learn and Live…

Recent events have made it quite clear to me that the heart does more than excrete enzymes when it comes under distress or trauma. It also sends out a calling to many of those around you to offer up thoughts and concerns about your well-being. I guess it’s some kind of rallying cry.

Your heart sort of just “tells” you things about the person you are and the person you’d like to become. It’s funny like that. Even though it might be damaged and weakened, it clings on to those things much like a drowning man might cling to a life preserver in stormy seas. It gives you hope.

Thanks go out to one and all for all the kind thoughts, sentiments, cards, letters and quiches that were sent my way after my recent minor setback. It means more to me than you folks will ever know and if anybody doesn't believe that we are a community, well, take a gander at my h/n.

You are all very special, special people. Thanks for letting me a part of it.

(Sorry if I missed anybody on the /msg’s, believe me, it wasn’t intentional.)

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