Stem Cell Therapy Effective For Treating Heart Attacks

by Medindia Content Team on  November 19, 2004 at 5:14 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Stem Cell Therapy Effective For Treating Heart Attacks
Researchers say they have found that stem cell therapy is effective in treating pigs with heart attacks . During the study injecting stem cells from one pig's bone marrow and injecting them into another pig's damaged heart muscle restored the heart's function to its original condition.

Researchers studied 14 pigs, whose circulatory systems are similar to humans, and half of them received therapy. They found injecting "adult" stem cells directly into pigs' damaged heart muscle produced a nearly full recovery after a relatively short period of time. Dead scar tissue disappeared and left only a trace of the heart attack for the pigs that received therapy. However researchers say they are unsure of how long the healing effects would last. Seven of the pigs that received placebo did not appear to recover and actually had a worsened condition, leading to the development of congestive heart failure within two months after heart attack.

Thus researchers say they have discovered what could become a widely used treatment to repair and reverse the damage done to the heart muscle after losing its blood supply. Researchers say current treatments for cardiovascular disease can prevent heart attacks and repair the after-effects. However, they do not repair the damaged muscle that results from heart problems. Dead portions of heart tissue that lead to dangerous scars are left. Serious complications often follow, such as sudden cardiac death and congestive heart failure.

Researchers conclude saying that among its many benefits , adult stem cells are readily available as no donor is required, and the stem cells can be simply reproduced if more are needed.

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