Monday September 23, 2019

Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Heart-Failure

For the study, the team induced experimental heart attacks in macaque monkeys

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heart-rate, inflammation
Higher levels of inflammation may in turn increase risk for heart diseases (IANS)

Stem cells may potentially be used as a “one-and-done” approach to restore function in people with heart-failure, a study has found.

Reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the study showed human stem cell treatment can possibly return the hearts’ functioning to better than 90 per cent of normal in macaque monkeys with heart attacks.

Heart-failure that causes nearly 10 million deaths worldwide, is a condition caused by lack of blood flow. The stem cells will help “form new muscle that will integrate into heart so it may pump vigorously again,” said Charles “Chuck” Murry, Professor at the University of Washington.

“Our findings show that human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes can re-muscularise infarcts in macaque monkey hearts and, in doing so, reduce scar size and restore a significant amount of heart function. This should give hope to people with heart disease,” Murry said.

For the study, the team induced experimental heart attacks in macaque monkeys.

Two weeks later, the researchers took heart cells that they had grown from embryonic human embryonic stem cells and injected them into and around the young scar tissue. Each animal received roughly 750 million of these human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

heart beat rate
Representational image. Pixabay

At four weeks after treatment, the ejection fraction in the treated animals rose to 49.7 per cent, about half-way back to normal, as compared to the untreated control animals, which remained unchanged at about 40 per cent.

MRI scans showed that new heart muscle had grown within what had been scar tissue in the treated hearts, while no new muscle was seen in the untreated animals.

Moreover, the human heart cells had also formed new muscle tissue in the damaged region. The new muscle tissue had replaced 10 per cent to 29 per cent of the scar tissue, integrated with the surrounding healthy tissue and developed into mature heart cells, the researchers said.

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Murry said that the research aims to develop a treatment that could be given to people shortly after a heart attack to prevent heart failure.

Because heart cells are long-lived there should be no need for additional treatments, he said. The transplanted stem cells would also be genetically altered to reduce the risk of immune rejection, which often complicates organ transplantation.

“What we hope to do is create a “one-and-done” treatment with frozen “off-the-shelf” cells that, like O-negative blood, can go into any recipient with only moderate immune suppression,” Murry said. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Can Now Detect Heart Failure with 100% Accuracy with the Help of Artificial Intelligence

Conversely, their new model uses a combination of advanced signal processing and machine learning tools on raw ECG signals, delivering 100 per cent accuracy

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Artificial Intelligence Bot
Artificial Intelligence Bot. Pixabay

With the help of Artificial Intelligence(AI), researchers have developed a neural network approach that can accurately identify congestive heart failure with 100 per cent accuracy through analysis of just one raw electrocardiogram (ECG) heartbeat.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of the heart muscles. Associated with high prevalence, significant mortality rates and sustained healthcare costs, clinical practitioners and health systems urgently require efficient detection processes.

The researchers have worked to tackle these important concerns by using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) – hierarchical neural networks highly effective in recognising patterns and structures in data.

“We trained and tested the CNN model on large publicly available ECG datasets featuring subjects with CHF as well as healthy, non-arrhythmic hearts. Our model delivered 100 per cent accuracy: by checking just one heartbeat we are able detect whether or not a person has heart failure,” said study researcher Sebastiano Massaro, Associate Professor at the University of Surrey in the UK.

artificial intelligence, nobel prize
“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

“Our model is also one of the first known to be able to identify the ECG’ s morphological features specifically associated to the severity of the condition,” Massaro said.

Published in Biomedical Signal Processing and Control Journal, the research drastically improves existing CHF detection methods typically focused on heart rate variability that, whilst effective, are time-consuming and prone to errors.

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Conversely, their new model uses a combination of advanced signal processing and machine learning tools on raw ECG signals, delivering 100 per cent accuracy.

“With approximately 26 million people worldwide affected by a form of heart failure, our research presents a major advancement on the current methodology,” said study researcher Leandro Pecchia from the University of Warwick. (IANS)