New Way To Repair Heart Damage
Heart is the part of the body which one cannot part with. Imagine pumping blood to all parts of the body, non-stop for virtually more than 50 years at least. Isn't that a tiring job. Yes it is and it would wear down any machine. Heart is no different.
The cells of the body after reaching a certain stage stop to grow and divide which then increases the risk of dead and damaged tissues or cells not being replaced. The cells of the heart have the same fate.
However, science has a way around almost everything these days. Almost.
Coaxing the cells to grow beyond their lifespan is what scientists have come up with.
Scientists say they have found a new way to mend damage to the heart.
When cells turn into fully-formed adult heart muscle they stop dividing, and cannot replace tissue damaged by disease or deformity.
But a US team have found a way to coax the cells to start dividing again, raising hopes they could be used to regenerate healthy tissue.
The study, carried out on mice and rats by Children's Hospital Boston, appears in the journal Cell.
The researchers say their work could provide an alternative to stem cell therapy, which is still largely untested, and carries a potential risk of side effects.
In theory, it could be used to treat heart attack patients, those with heart failure and children with congenital heart defects.
The key ingredient is a growth factor known as neuregulin1 (NRG1).
The Boston team envisages patients going to a clinic for daily infusions of NRG1 over a period of weeks.
However, researcher Dr Bernhard Kühn said more work to established the safety of the therapy before it could be tested in humans.