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“Protein Patch” Could Repair Damage Caused By Heart Attack

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Disability Help Group

The damage from a heart attack can result in long-term, permanent disabilities that can impair your ability to work and earn a living. Many people who suffer a heart attack also develop other conditions and have a higher risk of future cardiac episodes, such as a second attack or a stroke.

Researchers at Stanford University in California have published new research in the Nature medical journal about a new way to potentially reverse the damage done by a heart attack. Their method looked at cardiomyocytes, the heart muscle cells damaged during a heart attack. Currently, no treatment is available to reverse the damage and cell death that occurs during and after a heart attack.

The scientists looked to previous research on zebrafish, who can regenerate their cells. Previous research found that the epicardium helps regenerate cardiomyocytes. The researchers were able to identify a protein, Follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1), that stimulated the replication of the heart muscle cells. Using this protein, the researchers created a patch embedded with FSTL1 and attached it to the damaged heart.

Tests on pigs and mice found that the FSTL1 patch stimulated cell repair and growth, regenerating the damaged cardiomyocytes and helping stimulate new blood vessel growth within two to four weeks. The animals had improved heart function and better survival rates after application of the patch. These results are considered “clinically viable” and the team is now looking to start human clinical trials within the next two years.

When Cardiovascular Episodes Prevent You From Working, We Help Get You Disability Benefits

Heart attacks, stroke, and many other types of adverse cardiovascular events can prevent you from working and earning a living. The Disability Help Group is here to step in when you are denied Social Security disability benefits, so contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!