Broken Heart? We Could Patch That!
Globally, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and takes more lives annually than any other non-communicable disease. In the event that one survives the attack, the effects of the incident can leave traumatic damage to the heart in the forms of scarring and muscle degeneration. Lifestyle changes are an essential part of recovery. After a heart attack, diet and medication modifications along with periodic doctor visits and rehabilitation are likely to become a part of one’s daily life. The state of the heart is now physiologically rewired. Deprivation of oxygen occurs during a heart attack causing parts of the muscle to die, this damage is irreversible. New symptoms may arise because of this alteration such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and chest pain along with mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The risk for a consecutive heart attack(s) is also high coupled with the possibility of progressive disabilities or even death. Up until now science has not provided any physical evidence that treatment for this level of heart damage was possible, however that may no longer be the case. Professor of Bioengineering at San Diego UC and member of the Development, Aging, and Regeneration program at SBP, Mark Mercola, has a “protein patch” that seems to be a game changer.
“The patch utilizes the protein Follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1), found in the epicardium of mice hearts. The epicardium is the outer layer of the heart that not only protects, but supports growth. The protein was found to stimulate cultured heart muscles to divide, so researchers decided to apply a patch of it to the surface of mouse hearts that had undergone an experimental form of a ‘heart attack’.” (Venosa 2015)
The results have been outstanding, not only in reducing the level of scarring but in the growth of damaged muscle as well. It seems to be an attractive application for both clinical and commercial use. In addition to its revitalizing properties, the patient will be free of any consequential dependency on immunosuppressant drugs. Does this sound too good to be true? We will have to wait and see; human clinical trials have yet to be carried out. Researchers say they will begin as soon as possible.
1.Venosa. A (2015, September 17) Life After A Heart Attack: The Damage Faced And The Patch That May Be Able To Reverse It. Retrieved September 18, 2015.