Friday, May 02, 2014

Stem Cell Treatment Repairs Damaged Hearts In Monkeys

Scientists have successfully repaired damaged monkey hearts by injecting new heart cells made from human stem cells, paving the way for a trial in humans before the end of the decade.

Researchers now hope that the treatment could give patients a new lease of life after massive heart attacks that cause scarring and ultimately heart failure.

"When human embryonic stem cells were first discovered, this is just the sort of therapy people hoped they would lead to. We are optimistic, but we are also cautious," said Charles Murry, who led the team at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The heart is one of the poorest organs in the body at repairing itself when it sustains damage. After a heart attack, muscle tissue in the heart dies off, and is replaced a month or so later with scar tissue. This does not contract like normal heart tissue, so the heart is weakened and struggles to pump blood around the body.


Full story here.
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