Brugada syndrome is a genetic disease that results in abnormal EKG results and the possibility of sudden cardiac death. It is the primary cause of sudden unexpected death syndrome. It is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in the young in Thailand and Laos.
At present, over 160 different genetic variations can result in the condition. A defective gene leads to an abnormal growth on the right ventrical. This can result in a sudden onset of ventricular tachycardia in a patient with no previous heart problems.
The condition was only identified by studying both the abnormal heart pathology of victims, as well as studying survivors of the resulting heart attack.
Even when identified in a healthy patient, doctors can do little but plan for the heart attack when it happens. The recommended treatment is an implantable cardioverter-defibrilator which constantly monitors heart rhythm. However, quinidine is being studied as early trials show it can reduce the frequency and severity of the arrhythmias.