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Stem Cells for Heart

Stem Cells treatment for heart diseases

Before looking at stem cells for heart diseases it is important to understand what these amazing cells are and how they work. Stem cells are fantastic healing cells that work to help promote healing and well being within the body. When we are injured, these cells travel to the site of injury and help with the healing. Some of these cells come from bone marrow and some even come from the heart itself. Once they reach the injury site they help to heal the damaged tissue. To do this, they often secrete local hormones that rescue damaged heart cells and occasionally these cells turn into heart muscle cells.

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Stem cells do a good job but they could do even better. It has been proven that the heart actually stops signaling for heart cells a week or so after it has been damaged. This leaves the repair job unfinished and the partially repaired tissue and cells actually become a burden on the heart. This forces the heart to work harder and less efficiently and this can often lead to heart failure.

When researching stem cells and heart disease, patient’s own stem cells were used. These were derived from the bone marrow and had been proven to work in animal studies. Studies revealed only a very slight benefit so researchers have moved on to evaluate more promising approaches. These include giving more highly selected stem cells from a donor to patients at the time of a heart attack, giving patients their own cardiac stem cells after a heart attack and giving highly selected non-cardiac donor stem cells some time after a heart attack.

These types of therapies have yet to be proven safe and beneficial and it is important to know that a lot of patients are not receiving the most recent and optimal therapies that are available for heart failure.

Information About Stem Cell Trials

All live cell studies have strict protocols that must be adhered to. To ensure that they meet the criteria, patients have to be evaluated by a physician and may require specific testing at a clinic. The testing can take more than a day to complete.

All these trials are randomized controlled studies and not all patients that undergo evaluation for these trials will end up taking part or receiving the therapy.

Each study has different protocols and the stem cells are accessed and administered differently. There is also different criteria for follow ups. The research team will discuss all aspects of the trial with patients in detail prior to participating in the trial.

Research into heart diseases and if stem cells can be used to help in their treatment is ongoing and there are numerous trials happening all over the world. It is hoped that these cells with their regeneration and healing properties can be used to reverse many of these diseases and help patients to live long and healthy lives. There are so many different types of diseases being looked at along with the different types of cell therapies that can be used. Many of these clinical trials also look at different drug therapies to see if they will be beneficial to patients.

New research data and information is being compiled every year and all this information will help scientists to understand the cause and nature of the different heart diseases along with how stem cells, both donor and patient, can be used to help in their treatment. Scientists are continually looking at new ways in which stem cells can be harvested and differentiated into specific cells types in the body and the newly found iPSCs are proving to be very promising. Further research is continuing and the most trials and studies that are carried out the more information that will be available to the public as well as new therapies for combating and controlling these debilitating diseases.