Treating cardiac scar tissue improves heart attack recovery

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Scar tissue forms from heart attacks, which affects heart function. Although it has long been known that heart attack scar is weak and can lead to heart failure, there are few drugs that can change this. A paper published by the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science, announced new research in which a team led by the Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney investigated the effects of a novel therapeutic to do just this.

As a result of myocardial infarction (heart attack), scar tissue forms that negatively affects heart function. Although it has long been known that heart attack scar is weak and can ultimately lead to heart failure, there are few drugs that can directly change this scar tissue.

In new research just published in the leading journal Science Translational Medicine, a team led by cardiologist and scientist Associate Professor James Chong, from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) and University of Sydney, investigated the effects of a novel therapeutic to do just this.

The scientists showed that treatment on large animals dramatically increased heart function and increased new blood vessel formation. The scar showed greater scar strength and fibre alignment. Furthermore, animals were less susceptible to dangerous heart rhythms and had greater survival.

These results support the development of this new treatment as a solution for patients with large heart attacks and commercialisation by the University of Sydney is currently ongoing.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons 

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