Rest can undo damage to heart cellsApril 2nd, 2012 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS
London, April 2 (IANS) The damage to cardiac cells after a heart failure can be undone by allowing the heart to rest, according to new study.
Findings from an Imperial College London study in rats show that the condition’s effects on heart muscle cells are not permanent, as has generally been thought. The discovery could open the door to new treatment strategies.
Heart failure means the heart muscle is too weak or stiff to pump blood as effectively as it needs to, and it is commonly the result of a heart attack. Around 750,000 people in the UK alone are living with heart failure.
Severe heart failure carries a risk of death within one year which is worse than most cancers, and new heart failure treatments are badly needed, the European Journal of Heart Failure reported.
Patients with advanced heart failure are sometimes fitted with a left ventricle assist device (LVAD). The LVAD is a small pump that boosts the function of the heart and reduces strain on the left ventricle, the biggest chamber of the heart, which pumps blood around the body’s main circulation.
In 2006, researchers at Imperial led by professor Magdi Yacoub, showed that resting the heart using an LVAD fitted for a limited time can help the heart muscle recover, according to a university statement.
The Imperial researchers studied the changes that occur in heart muscle cells during heart failure in rats, and whether “unloading” the heart can reverse these changes.
“If you injure a muscle in your leg, you rest it and this allows it to recover,” said Cesare Terracciano, from the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) at Imperial, who supervised the study.
“The heart can’t afford to rest - it has to keep beating continuously. LVADs reduce the load on the heart while maintaining the supply of blood to the body, and this seems to help the heart recover,” said Terracciano.
- Marathons could permanently damage heart: Study - Dec 07, 2011
- 'Grafting helps normalise heartbeats' - Aug 06, 2012
- 'Broken heart syndrome' actually protects organ - Jun 29, 2012
- Dick Cheney's Weak Heart Undergoes The Implantation Of A 'Bridge To Transplant' Apparatus - Jul 15, 2010
- Hormone may help reverse serious pulmonary condition - Sep 16, 2011
- Out-of-tune protein precipitates heart failure - Sep 13, 2012
- Sleep apnea treatment staves off heart failure - Mar 14, 2012
- Stem cells from belly fat can help heart patients - Nov 18, 2010
- Protein that could be new target to reduce damage after heart attack identified - Feb 25, 2011
- Transplanted adult stem cells could heal injured hearts - May 08, 2010
- Steroid use may increase heart failure risk - Apr 28, 2010
- Ground-Breaking Dutch Research Finds That 'Spare Tyre' Could Save Lives - Nov 17, 2010
- One in 25 Indians carries gene that triggers heart failure - Jun 10, 2010
- 1 in 25 people from India carries a gene mutation that causes heart failure - Jun 09, 2010
- Ex-US Vice-President Dick Cheney has pump placed in heart - Jul 15, 2010
Tags: cancers, cardiac cells, european journal of heart failure, function of the heart, heart attack, heart cells, heart failure, heart failure treatments, heart muscle cells, imperial college london, left ventricle, london study, lung institute, lvad, magdi yacoub, national heart, new heart, nhli, study findings, treatment strategies