Stem Cell Therapy Saves Monkeys From Heart Attack

First Posted: Oct 12, 2016 04:30 AM EDT

Recently, scientists tried a new treatment for heart attacks. They used monkeys for their experiment in which they successfully repaired their hearts through stem cell therapy.

According to The Guardian, scientists used heart cells created from the donor's skin. They chose the donor to be the recipients' good genetic match.  They induced heart attack in five monkeys and injected freshly made heart cells into the damaged areas of their hearts. Doing so helped the organs pump more vigorously. The recipients needed drugs to stop their bodies from rejecting the cells.

Dr. Yushi Shiba and the whole team of researchers from Shinshu University injected 400m lab-made cells and were able to replace around 16 percent of the damaged tissue.  They wired up new cells with healthy ones in the heart.

However, it is important to take note that the stem cell therapy done caused unusual heart rhythms. For this reason, researchers believe that considering the treatment safe for humans would need further research and work. As of writing, experts are trying to understand the exact cause of the unusual heart rhythms. According to Sam Boateng from the Reading University, the work was a step towards a great chance of repairing a damaged heart after a heart attack. Boateng is currently studying the mechanisms of heart failure.

Live Science reported that the irregular heartbeats lasted for four weeks after the stem cell therapy. The side effect was not deadly and the monkeys lived for the entire study period, which lasted for three months.

Heart attack is among the leading causes of death particularly in the developed world. For instance, hospitals in UK attend to around 200,000 cases every year. Undeniably, this recent experiment is very promising. Once the experts become successful in their further studies, numerous people around the world will benefit from a new radical treatment for heart attacks.

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