Sunday, April 5

Towards a Cure for Heart Attacks

Even though heart attacks may not be deadly, they can leave your ticker damaged. The reason: they occur when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isn't restored quickly, a section of the heart muscle becomes damaged from the lack of oxygen and begins to die, weakening its ability to pump blood.
A study in Science today confirms that some heart muscle cells do, in fact, regenerate slowly over the course of a person's lifetime.
Those results suggest that heart cells could, in fact, be nudged to regenerate or artificially replaced through cell transplants, according to an editorial accompanying the study. "Even though cardiomyocyte (heart muscle cell) turnover is low in the adult heart, the fact that it occurs at all suggests that it can potentially be therapeutically exploited," write Charles Murray, co-director of the University of Washington's Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, and Richard Lee, an associate physician in cardiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Read more...

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