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Thursday, 12 October 2017 18:44

Stem Cells From Umbilical Cords of Newborn Babies Show Promise in Repairing Heart Damage

Written by  Dave Andrusko

In a first-of-its-kind study published in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal, researchers from Universidad de los Andes in Chile found that stem cells derived from the umbilical cords of newborn babies may lead to repairs in damaged hearts and improvements in heart muscle.

“We are encouraged by our findings because they could pave the way to a non-invasive, promising new therapy for a group of patients who face grim odds,” said Fernando Figueroa, one of the authors of the study and a medicine professor at the University de los Andes.

“In heart failure, the heart’s muscles weaken and can no longer pump blood adequately throughout the body,” explained Ana Sandoiu

Worryingly, the threat of heart failure is increasing among people in the United States; the number of people affected is currently set at 6.5 million, and this is expected to rise by 46 percent by the year 2030.

The authors of the new study note that previous research has already looked into the potential of stem cells derived from bone marrow for treating heart failure, but they say that umbilical cord-derived stem cells have never been examined.

These are a more desirable avenue for treatment, the authors add, as they are more accessible, do not pose any of the ethical concerns that embryonic stem cells do, and are not likely to elicit a negative immune response.

Read more at LifeNews

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