Brugada syndrome is an inherited rare condition that causes abnormal heart rhythm in the lower ventricles of your heart. This irregular heartbeat can cause the person to faint and lead to a sudden cardiac death.
Brugada syndrome is mostly caused by a genetic mutation that changes the way your heart’s normal electrical signals work. The condition was first discovered in 1992. The disease has been known as sudden, unexplained nocturnal death syndrome because people with it can often die in their sleep.
Brugada syndrome is rare. It affects about 5 of every 10,000 people worldwide. Symptoms usually show up during adulthood, although the disorder can develop at any age. The average age of death related to the disease is 40 years old. is more common in people from Southeast Asian heritage.
Symptoms of Brugada syndrome can include:
Blackouts or fainting episodes
Symptoms of Brugada syndrome are very similar to many other conditions. However, for some people, the first symptom is a cardiac arrest. If you are with someone who falls unconscious and stops breathing, call the emergency number immediately.
It is important to tell your doctor if you have a first-degree relative with Brugada Syndrome such as parents, siblings or children. In such a case, your doctor will perform one or more of the following tests:
ECG with medication: since Brugada Syndrome is caused by changes in the heart’s ion channels, your doctor may give you mediation prior to the test to help Brugada pattern appear on the ECG print.
Lab tests to check potassium and calcium balance
Genetic testing to confirm a specific gene indicating Brugada Syndrome exists
Electrophysiology testing to measure electrical activity from inside the heart. This test is used as a last resort for patients whose diagnosis is unclear through other tests
How is Brugada syndrome treated?
If you have been diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, your doctor may advise you to have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) fitted, which is a small device that can help prevent sudden death related to Brugada syndrome.
Through regular check ups, you can continue to live an active life with this condition.