Ottawa researchers have initiated a groundbreaking set of clinical trials of a stem cell therapy, with assistance from a team of scientists, aimed at allowing your heart to heal itself after a major heart attack. It was highlighted that a huge number of 70,000 Canadians suffer from a heart attack each year, and while majority patients return to health after treatment, several survivors suffer from severe heart scarring which implicates at reducing their quality of life and life expectancy.
The researchers are now trying a method that makes new therapy using stem cells that have an incredible ability to regenerate damaged organs. The issue to understand is that the cells of heart attack patients don’t really have the equal healing abilities as cells from young, healthy patients. Usually heart attack patients are often in their 60s or older, which exposes their cells to high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions.
The CEO and scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the lead principal investigator on the trial, Dr. Duncan Stewart, explained that the therapy is conducted by extracting stem cells from the patient’s own blood soon after a heart attack. Later, they are enhanced in the laboratory with extra copies of a gene essential to the regenerative ability and are returned to the patient through an infusion. Dr. Stewart, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, alleged that “in other words, the therapy helps the heart repair itself.”
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