Scientists have been working on cardiac cells in mice to try to find a way to help the human heart during and after a heart attack. 1.5 million heart attacks occur in the United States each year and kill roughly 500,000 people annually.
The study is being conducted at the Institute of Child Health in London by researcher Paul Riley. The scientists have found that cells in a mouse’s heart will rush to the site of a heart attack and make new muscle afterwards. These findings give doctors hope that one day the human heart will be able to repair itself, using the same technique. It has also been suggested from this study that a drug may possibly be developed that can be given to people who are at risk of having a heart attack to keep the cells ready.
From MSNBC (click here for full article)
“The cells are found in the outer layer of the mouse heart. Researchers found that if they inject mice with a particular substance and gave the animals a heart attack, the cells migrated to the site of injury and made new muscles. They also found several indicators that the heart then worked better, although they said it’s not clear whether that’s due to the new muscle or other known effects of the injected substance.”
Look for Dr. Malinski’s take on this new research to be published on the Sherman Heart blog tomorrow.