Heart attacks are the number one cause of death worldwide claiming more than 17 million lives each year. The effects of congestive heart failure present great challenges for scientist and doctors.
Stem cell biology represents a new medical frontier. Scientist are working toward to replace damaged heart cells and literally restore cardiac function using stem cells.
Stem cells have the ability to home into the damaged areas but also to initiate a cascade of biological events which both culminate in healing of the heart. For example, animal studies have demonstrated that stem cell therapy will cause new muscle cells to be formed through stimulation of dormant stem cells that are already inside the heart muscle.
Placental Mesenchymal and Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy for Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Ichim T, Solano F, Brenes R, Glenn E, Chang J, Chan K, Riordan N.
– Reproductive BioMedicine Online 2008; 898-905
Combination of Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Failure
Ichim T, Solano F, Lara F, Paz Rodriguez J, Cristea O, Minev B, Ramos F, Woods E, Murphy M, Alexandrescu D, Patel A, Riordan N.– International Archives of Medicine 2010; 3:5