Baylor College of Medicine researchers find method to repair damage from heart attacks
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine recently found that a combination of three specific genes can reprogram cells in the scars caused by heart attacks into functioning muscle cells.
This effect can then be enhanced by the addition of a gene that stimulates the growth of blood vessels.
According to a college press release, "During a heart attack, blood supply is cut off to the heart, resulting in the death of heart muscle. The damage leaves behind a scar and a much weakened heart. Changing the scar into heart muscle would strengthen the heart."
"The theory is that if you have a big heart attack, your doctor can just inject these three genes into the scar tissue during surgery and change it back into heart muscle," said Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, chair of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at BCM and the report’s corresponding author, in the release.
The report appears online in the Journal of the American Heart Association and was produced by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Stony Brook University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, both in New York.
The announcement was made Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Baylor College of Medicine is at 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston.
For more information, call 713-798-4710 or visit www.bcm.edu/news.
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