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Rapid advances are being made in the area of growing healthy heart tissue to replace diseased heart muscle. One method involves using adult stem cells from bone marrow or bloodstream to inject into damaged heart tissue which can then grow into healthy heart muscle. Another method involves using immature thigh muscle cells to inject into the heart where they also take on the characteristics of heart cells. Growth factors, hormones and other compounds are being assessed for their ability to stimulate inactive stem cells in the heart to grow into healthy heart tissue. Current treatments for heart failure simply alleviate some of the symptoms but don't reverse any of the damage. New research hopes to eventually allow the growth of replacement heart valves or new blood vessels to replace blocked ones. The same strategies used to repair heart damage may also be able to be used for conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer's disease.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Medical News Today
About: Advances in heart tissue regrowth from stem cells
Date: 17 January 2005
Source: Medical News Today
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