Heart Disease : The Leading Cause Of Years Of Life Lost Globally

1229 Words Sep 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Numerous studies had reported ischaemic heart disease to be the leading cause of years of life lost globally. These statistic showing epidemic rates of heart failure has motivated countless professionals in the field to find a way to decrease these numbers. One such person is Dr James Chong, a cardiologist and researcher at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital. In 2014, Dr Chong and his colleagues conducted a promising study on regenerating cardiac muscle cells, also known as cardiomyocytes that were killed in previous heart attacks by using stem cells to replace the damaged heart tissue.
First and foremost, ischaemic heart disease is a condition in which blood flow and oxygen is restricted in the heart which can lead to heart attacks. When cardiac muscles are starved of oxygen and nutrients, they will die resulting in scarring since cardiac muscles are one of the least regenerative tissues in the human body. Scarring can eventually lead to complications, as scar tissues do not contract or pump as well as healthy cardiac muscle tissues. Dr Chong and his team has seek to treat this damage by implanting cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells into the damaged area of the heart.
Stem cells are cells that have the potential to differentiate into any kind of cell type in the body. What makes them different from other cells is that they are not specialised and are capable of self-renewing for an indefinite amount of time. Stem cells can also be induced to become tissue…
Open Document