Self Healing Hearts; An Overview of Medical Technology

Cardiac conditions are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. For many years, researchers have long believed the heart had the ability to heal itself in some fashion. Unsure of the nature in which the heart rejuvenates, research has continued within stem cell technology leading to the discovery of cardiac stem cells. With this discovery, medical science is now looking to the FDA for approval in clinical trials. Understanding the origin and theory of cardiac stem cell research, findings of the preliminary studies and the implication for treatment of future cardiac conditions will offer a significant advancement in cardiovascular care in the United States.

For many years, scientists believed the heart had some mechanism for healing itself. As a major muscle, functioning all day, every day, it is impossible to believe the heart did not have some mechanism for regeneration of damaged tissue. With this theory in mind, researchers and scientists began with the use of damaged donor hearts, and through isolation, located cardiac stem cells. Beyond the identification of the cardiac stem cells, scientists have gone one step further and determined the location of the cells and how the heart utilizes them in the regeneration of healthy tissue.

Unfortunately, these same regenerated cells do not have the ability to automatically repair the diseased or damaged heart. Found within the atria, the heart naturally utilizes the cardiac stem cells to produce new vessels and cardiac tissue in natural deterioration and aging. By removing a sample of these same cardiac stem cells, scientists have determined the cardiac stem cell repairs the damaged cardiac tissue of rats. So what does this mean to the health crisis in the United States?

With approval of clinical 1 trials, by the FDA, scientists hope to isolate the cardiac stem cells and work to produce a more effective cardiac treatment program over the current bone marrow cells most often used during cardiac surgery. Additionally, scientists seek to advance the cardiac stem cells further to, one day, potentially produce a medication or treatment alternative which will serve to prevent cardiac disease and disorder from occurring in the first place. Thereby, reducing the statistics of one of the leading health related diseases in the United States.

With controversy surrounding stem cell research, the use of cardiac stem cells, from donor hearts, in a limited capacity to treat the cardiac patient in surgery will offer extended longevity as well as reduce cardiac related death statistics. Looking forward in the advancement of cardiac stem cell research, the FDA will make consideration for clinical 1 trials to begin.

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