Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Using Stem Cell To Fix Damaged Heart!

If heart disease patients can make use of their own cells to repair their hearts, then people do not need to wait for donated hearts, which is always in short supply. Meanwhile, they also do not need to rely on dangerous medications to stop their body from rejecting the foreign organs.

This is the goal, which scientists have been striving to achieve. It seems that this dream is going to be realized in the very near future.

On July 20, 2009, a study that was published in the peer review journal Circulation revealed that researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have managed to reverse some of the damages caused by heart attack using stem cells that were induced from connective tissue cells. The proof-of-concept study on mice is the first attempt to use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to treat heart disease.

Using the technique of nuclear reprogramming, the researchers believe they could reverse the fate of adult cells and customize on demand cardiovascular regenerative medicine. In fact, the research team genetically reprogrammed fibroblast cells, which contribute to the formation of connective tissues and scars, so that they became stem cells capable of developing into new heart muscle.

They transplanted these cells into mouse with damaged hearts and found that the cells had managed to stop progression of structural damage within 4 weeks. They also found that heart muscle performance that was lost after the heart attack was restored and tissue at the site of the damage was regenerated.

Stem cells do offer great potential for regenerative medicine as they can be coaxed into becoming lab-dish replacements for heart, liver, skin, eye, brain, nerve and other cells destroyed by disease, accident, war or normal wear-and-tear. In the meantime, they also have potential to cure diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and Type-1 diabetes though research was limited because they were obtained from embryos.

In 2007, scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells into stem cells using embryos and exponentially increased the number of stem cells available for research purposes.

However, the iPS cells have not yet been approved for testing on humans and it will definitely take quite some time before it could be used in treatments.

1 comment:

  1. In the cases of heart attack and cardiac arrest, or any other heart shocks, time sets to be the most crucial factor for the survival of the patient. Sometimes, a little knowledge regarding the immediate actions to be taken may help your near and dear ones to survive in such incidents. The response a person takes to treat a victim decides the probability of his/her survival. Its been my personal experience fighting to survive against a heart attack. A quick reorganization of your bodily responses may increase your chances of survival. Because of having many heart problems, I was enrolled in a concierge Healthcare program from elite health. I was attacked by a severe heart attack in a party, luckily surrounded by many people. Some of the sudden changes in my body was recognized by me and anticipated immediately. I got a very severe chest pain which was almost unbearable for more than a minute. I got the suspicion that I might be having heart attack, and immediately called my physician on the phone, and explained my condition and its severity. Because of the immediate guidance, I was directed immediately to have an aspirin which I used to carry with me as prescribed by my physician. It was quite a frightening experience for me to face such a heart attack, but somehow I managed to be calm until 911 arrived. I was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where already my physician were present and have got everything setup according to my medical history. And it was in some matter of seconds that everything was in control. A doctor, who already have the complete knowledge of the medical history and fitness of the person, extra ordinarily ameliorate your recovery process. Hence such a concierge level program from Elite health, helped me a save my life, like many others.