Millions Could be Saved by British Stem Cell Trials for Heart Failure
Source: British Heart Foundation
The term Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) covers a broad spectrum of heart and blood vessel related diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases includes Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) which is sometimes referred to as Ischemic Heart Disease, this occurs when there is poor or interrupted blood supply to the heart. But Cardiovascular diseases can also be due to abnormal electrical activity (arrhythmias), abnormal heart muscle function, (cardiomyopathies), or structural defects, such, as valve or septal defects.
The primary cause of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis – a condition in which fatty substances build up in the walls of the arteries that run to the heart. This causes them to narrow, which can reduce their supply of oxygen. This may lead to angina (pain in the chest), and there’s a risk that this could lead to a heart attack. It’s estimated that about two million people in the UK are living with coronary heart disease.
Cardiovascular Diseases and particularly, Coronary Heart Disease, have been described as the gathering storm of UK and world health.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 17 million people around the world died from cardiovascular disease in 2008, and due to the growing epidemics of diabetes and obesity, this number is expected to surge to 23 million by 2030.
In the UK, the statistics are no less alarming. Every year 160,000 people die from heart and circulatory disease. 73,000 of these die directly as a result of coronary heart disease (CHD) and 42,000 people died prematurely from cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Research into stem cell treatment
However, breakthroughs in stem cell research could reveal new ways to help mend damaged hearts. Leading the way in this have been a number of studies utilising Mesenchymal Stem Cells MSC’s as researchers try different tactics with stem cells to repair or replace the damaged heart tissue caused by congestive heart failure and heart attacks.
Over the years a great deal of progress has been made, as the Journal of Circulation Research stated in its April 10th 2015 issue;
“The idea of using stem or precursor cells has emerged in the last decade as a leading approach for a regenerative strategy to address cardiac disease. In this context, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are lead candidates for cellular therapy not only for heart disease, but multiple diseases characterized by fibrosis.”
These continuing efforts by scientists and researchers are the key to developing further breakthroughs in the potential for Mesenchymal Stem Cells to treat a range of heart defects and conditions. A viewpoint wholly supported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) who endorse this work;
“The BHF supports essential research using stem cells because we believe they have the potential to cure conditions that are incurable today.”
Protecting Against Potential Future Heart Disease
The best stem cells are young stem cells, before they can deteriorate through age of pollution. That’s why it’s advisable to bank stem cells whilst they are in their prime, at the best they will ever be – at the youngest age possible.
As children naturally lose around 12 teeth over a five-year period, the process of obtaining viable stem cells for future treatment for conditions, such as heart disease, is non-invasive. It’s also the most cost-effective way to ensure cells are banked and ready for when they may need to be used in the future.
If you want more information on how you could bank your children’s baby teeth for potential future therapeutic use, have a chat to one of our team or download our guide to stem cell banking.
To keep up to date with the latest developments in stem cell therapy and the treatment of heart disease, make sure to check back regularly to our blog.