They found that the gene therapy was fast-acting, reprogramming enough muscle cells to effectively regulate heart rate within 24 to 48 hours.
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Toronto, ON (PRWEB) August 26, 2014
Bel Marra Health, who offers high-quality, specially formulated vitamins and nutritional supplements, has reported on new research that has shown the success of the first ever biological pacemaker that could put an end to invasive surgeries.
As Bel Marra Health reports in its article, (http://www.belmarrahealth.com/heart-health/heart-patients-to-live-longer-thanks-to-new-gene-therapy/), the study was conducted by Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and published in Science Translational Medicine in July. For this study, 12 pigs with heart block – a condition where the electrical signal is slowed or disrupted as it moves through the heart – were injected with either the single gene, called TBX18, to reprogram cells, or a fluorescent green protein acting as a placebo.
The patch of peppercorn-sized cells acted as a pacemaker for a two-week period, performing the function of a conventional one. During this same period, cardiologists looked at the average heart rate of the pigs in the morning when they ate and at night when they slept.
They found that the gene therapy was fast-acting, reprogramming enough muscle cells to effectively regulate heart rate within 24 to 48 hours. After eight days of testing, the average heart rate was much higher in the pigs that received the therapy than ones that did not.
This “biological pacemaker,” as it’s been dubbed by researchers, could be useful for certain patients, such as those who develop infections from electronic pacemakers and need to have the devices temporarily removed, or fetuses with life-threatening heart disorders who cannot have an electronic pacemaker implanted.
Spokesperson for Bel Marra Health, Dr. Victor Marchione, says, “Since the early 1960s, pacemakers have been widely available, and they’ve constantly improved, becoming more safe and sophisticated.”
Conventional pacemakers are electronic, implanted into the chest to control an abnormal heartbeat. Electronic pacemakers restore regular function to slowing and arrhythmic hearts by using electricity to stimulate heartbeats. That’s a function usually performed by a cluster of thousands of cardiac cells that tell the heart to pump at a regular rate.
These mechanisms are lifesaving for many people with abnormal or slow heart rhythms. But they require an invasive surgery to be installed. So scientists have been waiting for the day when an implant is no longer needed by patients.
Of course, the applications of this new research are still a long way off. And the benefits of a pacemaker usually outweigh the risks. Still, pig hearts are similar to human hearts in their size and the way they work, so there’s good reason to think that the new findings could translate to humans.
(SOURCE: Y.-F. Hu, et al., Biological pacemaker created by minimally invasive somatic reprogramming in pigs with complete heart block. Science Translational Medicine, 2014; 6 (245): 245ra94 doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008681)
Bel Marra Health is the maker of Heart Rescue a high-quality nutritional supplement to help support and maintain heart health. All ingredients are backed with scientific evidence. Every product is tested for safety, quality and purity at every stage of the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, Bel Marra Health products are produced only in Health Canada approved facilities, going the extra mile to ensure that our health-conscious customers are getting top-quality products. For more information on Bel Marra Health visit http://www.belmarrahealth.com or call 1-866-531-0466.