Currently, heart attack sufferers have no way of reversing the damage suffered by the heart after an attack. This can leave them with serious health problems and a higher chance of further cardiovascular problems, including further heart failure and potentially death. Now, there may be hope for these patients, as British scientists have discovered a type of stem cell that can reverse the damage caused by a heart attack, preventing later heart failure.
The British Heart Foundation and Imperial College teamed up to conduct this research, which involved injecting a specific type of stem cell found in the human heart into mice modeled for heart attack damage. They found that these stem cells had a protein on their surface called PDGFR alpha which was effective in repairing the injured tissue caused by a heart attack. The mice who received the stem cell treatment recovered a significant amount of their damaged heart muscle tissue over a 12-week period.
"We have found stem cells in the heart that have a specific protein on their surface have the greatest potential to repair damaged hearts," Professor Michael Schneider of the British Heart Foundation said in a statement. "When we injected stem cells with this protein into damaged hearts, we saw a significant level of heart repair. Now that we know which stem cells to use, we want to find their equivalent in human hearts for more efficient heart repair and regeneration after heart attacks."
Currently, more than 20 human trials of various stem cell methods to assist recovery after a heart attack are being carried out around the world.
For information about the autologous stem cell therapies available at our clinics, contact the Longevity Centres of America today.