New York, New York (PRWEB) June 12, 2012
Millions of Americans struggle with heart failure on a daily basis, whether it is derived from heart disease, hypertension or many other associated conditions. The symptoms include shortness of breath, weight gain, swelling and a weakened pulse, which have long been a cause for concern among patients all over the world. According to a recent report from Medical News Today, a breakthrough development from Israeli scientists could lead to a future reduction in heart failure. Using skin cells from the damaged tissue of heart failure patients, professionals are able to successfully build healthy heart tissue. Dr. Frank Pollaro, a respected noninvasive cardiologist, applauds these efforts and points to the potential such a discovery could lead to.
The article details the achievements of Professor Lior Gepstein, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Physiology at the Sohnis Research Laboratory for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Regenerative Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. The study published in the English Heart Journal described how the Gepstein and his colleagues obtained skin cells from a pair of male heart failure patients and reprogrammed them into healthy new tissue. The tissue was transplanted into the hearts of healthy rats and showed that new tissue was able to establish connections with the existing heart.
To explain what a landmark discovery this is, Gepstein comments, “What is new and exciting about our research is that we have shown that it's possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are health and young - the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born.” For Frank Pollaro, M.D, the study seemed like science fiction at first, and he was skeptical of its reality. “However, it appears as though it is real, it is true and it worked. It is an amazing achievement,” Pollaro states.
The cardiologist adds that this study could change the way patients with cardiomyopathies are treated. Following many major medical discoveries in the past, what could be a life-altering condition today can be a minimal problem in the near future. However, he suspects that the widespread clinical use of human-induced pluripotent stem cells to build healthy human hearts is most likely decades away. The article confirms his suspicions, stating that it may take five to ten years before researchers can overcome the typical obstacles associated with stem cell use to perform clinical trials.
Frank Pollaro, M.D., is a non-invasive cardiologist who specializes in using the latest technology to effectively treat coronary disease and vascular disorders. A graduate of Georgetown University, Dr. Frank Pollaro is an award-winning physician with numerous publications and professional affiliations to his name.