Despite many breakthroughs in cardiovascular treatment, heart attacks and heart failure still pose a very large threat to the American population. The largest challenge in patients who have had a cardiac complication is the restoration of function to the damaged heart. Since damaged heart tissue is very difficult for the body to replace, physicians are continually looking for new methods of treating the heart.
Regenerative treatment through the use of stem cells is showing a large amount of potential at not only helping reverse the resulting damage of a cardiac attack, but in actually re-growing the damaged tissue in order to restore function.
What can Stem Cells do for the Heart?
To understand what stem cells can potentially do for the heart, it is important to first understand the different heart cells that can be damaged in a cardiac event. Destruction of the heart muscle cells, called cardiomyocytes, is the primary cause behind loss of function in a damaged heart. These cells are the muscle behind heart contraction, which sends blood to the rest of the body.
Secondly, vascular endothelial cells (inner lining of blood vessels) and smooth muscle cells (outer lining of blood vessels) each play an important role in the formation of new arteries. These serve to draw nutrients and oxygen to the remaining cardiomyocytes following heart damage, directly influencing the capabilities of a damaged heart.
Numerous studies are being conducted into the purposing of stem cells this manner, with one study providing evidence that bone marrow stem cells were able to develop into the required myocardial cells in mice. The ability to develop human hematopoietic stem cells for heart muscle is already documented technique, with the method of application into humans and the results of implantation still under study.
What research is currently being made into cardiac treatment through stem cells?
The research currently being performed on stem cells for cardiac treatment is focused on developing known stem cell traits into a working cure for cardiac complications. The current hurdles researchers face include how to best expand stem cells injected into the heart, how to best deliver the cells, and how to discover new niches (groupings) of stem cells in the body.
Delivery: Current methods of delivery include generic IV injection, which is minimally invasive with varying degrees of success. The most dependable method is to have direct injection into the heart, which requires surgery for visualization. Complications may include potentially clogging the arteries with the introduced stem cells and the invasiveness of the surgery.
Expanding Stem Cells: The majority of transplanted stem cells fail to reach the area of damage. It is crucial for a physician to be able to accurately deliver a large amount of stem cells to offer the patient the best treatment. Methods of better stem cell isolation, identification, and expansion into tissue are currently being developed.
Physician First Choice offers stem cell therapy for cardiac disease. The clinic has multiple stem cell doctors with extensive experience in stem cell therapy for numerous conditions. The stem cell clinic sees patients from all over California and the country, providing both IV stem cell therapy and injections into arthritic joints and areas with tendonitis and ligament injury.
Call (888) 988-0515 for more information and scheduling today!