Investigating an innovative response to heart attacks
Time is said to heal all wounds, but one wound it doesn't heal is damage to the heart muscle caused by a heart attack. Heart muscle is never as strong after a heart attack because of the loss of blood supply during the attack, a weakness that commonly leads to congestive heart failure. Physician researchers at Rush University Medical Center are hoping to reverse damage following a first heart attack through the use of adult stem cells, taken from bone-marrow donors.
Cardiologists at Rush are transplanting stem cells in heart attack patients in the hopes of regenerating damaged heart muscle. Because stem cells have the potential to develop into mature heart cells and new blood vessels, they hold great promise for treating damaged muscle. Early research has demonstrated that stem cells are like bloodhounds on a scent trail: They follow the body's inflammatory signals to sites of injury in the body.
Led by Gary Schaer, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Rush, the study will follow patients for two years. Rush is the only center in Illinois participating in the study.
More Information at Your Fingertips:
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Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.
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