Do you have a heart?

Sometimes, I have to wonder whether some people really have heart, and sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that they do. And then there are those people who I really just want them to undergo a change in heart (yes, people have their own choices and decisions to make…but sometimes, my opinion is just obviously better….derr people!). But all jokes aside, maybe these individuals can receive a new heart….with stem cell therapy! Because, sorry, sometimes love just can’t repair everything. But honestly, I hope no one needs a new heart because it can only mean that the heart is damaged.

Unfortunately, for many Americans, the heart is damaged. According to PhRMA, more than 82 million adults – more than one in three – have suffered one or more types of cardiovascular disease. To add to that, around 2,200 Americans die from a heart attack PER DAY. That’s one person every 39 seconds. The number one cause of deaths in America is heart disease. We’re obviously in need of a solution to improve our heart conditions.

Diseases of <3

Introducing stem cell therapy. In February of 2012, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute may have found a way to regenerate damaged heart muscle in adults who have had heart attacks. They accumulated and harvested heart stem cells from seventeen individuals who have gone through heart attacks and later implanted these cells back at the site of damage. This stem cell infusion process was done on these patients after around three months of their heart attack and was then subsequently monitored. What they found were positive results. Six months after the stem cell infusion treatment, patients experienced less scarring of the heart muscle and an INCREASE in the amount of healthy heart muscle. They compared this to the heart of patients who did not receive the treatment and found that their heart muscle had more scarring and less healthy muscle tissue. In fact, one year after the stem cell transplantation, the scar size decreased by 50 percent.

When I look at this I am amazed at the progress of stem cell therapies. From petri dishes (look at this Youtube video of heart differentiated stem cells in a petri dish beating like a heart! ), to mice, to other model organisms, we are finally using this IN HUMANS. And we’re seeing noticeable results. I’m amazed by the lab transition from lab bench to the bedside of sick patients. This treatment can save the lives of so many heart attack patients whose heart eventually fails to repair itself.

What’s next? Who says we need to stop at the heart? This treatment, already successful with bone marrow and blood, now has improved our heart health, and will travel to other organ and organ systems.

So feel free to rip out my heart. I CAN JUST GROW A NEW ONE. Like this:

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2 Responses to Do you have a heart?

  1. Tim Groh says:

    Haha a very heartfelf introduction Sarah. It really hit the heart. Alright, my heart puns will stop there. In relation to your post though, that’s crazy. It’s even crazier that this sort of stem cell therapy or something similar will probably be standard in the near future. To hear people talking about new knees or shoulders is one thing, but our very heart is monumental. Super interesting posts, keep it up.

  2. Kathryn Dent says:

    Wow I did not realize that heart heart disease was as prevalent and rampant in society! This rightfully does put a lot of pressure to find a cure. I think that stem cell research and therapy is a great step in the right direction. I just learned all about stem cells in Biology, and I find their workings fascinating. Stem cell research and therapy is very very controversial because often times the stem cells used in research are from unborn babies. Thus, I could see why people are opposed. But I personally think it is necessary to forward our health interests.

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