Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Heart Attack Patients?

Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Heart Attack Patients?


A recent study by the Hubrecht Institute in The Netherlands found that, following a heart attack, adult hearts lack the necessary stem cells to repair heart tissue. This is especially troubling since most heart attacks occur in people over the age of 45 - in fact, the average ages of heart attack patients are 66 for men and 70 for women.

While a person is having a heart attack, a portion of the blood supply to their heart is cut off. This essentially kills off cells in the heart during the attack, and as of yet there is nothing that can be done to regenerate those cells. Stem cells have tremendous healing capabilities and can help patients with many different injuries and illnesses, but there is no data that shows that preserving or regenerating the cells that die during a heart attack would be possible.

Researchers on the Hubrecht study were able to pinpoint fibroblasts within the heart’s connective tissue that divide during a cardiac episode such as a heart attack. But those divisions cause scar tissue, which has its own purpose. Researchers found that when blocked, the scar tissue caused cardiac rupture.

The takeaway here is to live a healthy, active lifestyle to reduce your risk of having a cardiac episode such as a heart attack. Eating a balanced diet, exercising and taking good care of your oral health can all reduce your heart attack risk.

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