Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Can Hearts Be Mended?

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, July 24, 2009 10:31 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Heart Attack, Heart Cells, Cell, Heart Disease

New research finds that damaged heart tissue may be able to regenerate which was previously thought impossible.

Can Hearts Be Mended?

LEARN MORE

 

IMAGE SOURCE:  Wikimedia Commons/ laboratory mice/ author: Aaron Logan

 

The answer to that question was thought to be no.

It’s been assumed that heart muscle could not repair itself after birth and that once a heart is damaged by disease such as a heart attack, the cells do not regenerate.

 But a new study in mice finds that healthy cells can be coaxed into dividing into healthy tissue

The research was carried out by Children’s Hospital in Boston and is published in the journal Cell. 

The Boston team found the key ingredient is NRG1, a growth factor known as neuregulin 1, which appears to spark the process of cell division.

Researchers found when it was administered to mice with induced heart attacks there was some regeneration of heart muscle and an improvement in the function of the heart.  

Writing in the journal, researchers said: "We have identified the major elements of a new approach to promote myocardial regeneration. 

The work is an alternative to stem cell research which has not be promising in the regeneration of damaged heart tissue.  

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said to BBC: "This fascinating study shows, remarkably, that a significant fraction of adult heart cells in mice can be made to replicate and help to repair damaged hearts. 

"If the same mechanisms identified by the researchers can be shown to work in the human heart, it opens up real possibilities for new and more efficient ways to treat people with heart disease." 

WebMD talked to Dr. Bernhard Kuhn, the study co-author, who says “The hope is that neuroregulin 1 can one day be used to ramp up this process in humans and help damaged hearts, as it seems to do in mice.” 

The next step will be to test the growth factor into pigs.  #


No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address

Subscribe

RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes