There has been a breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease. It’s stem cell regeneration of heart cells using cells from the patients own heart. Before this, doctors had used stem cells from bone marrow with some positive results. However, Dr. Eduardo Marban, Director of Cedars Sinai Heart Institute, coaxed tissue from the patients own heart, and discovered they manufactured hundreds of healthy, new heart cells.
Ken Milles, the stem cell test patient that Dr. Marban used, says it was like receiving a “magic pill” that has given him a stronger heart beat and he feels great. Dr. Marban says studies show scarring on Milles’ heart tissue cleared by 50% and his heart looks normal again. Damaged muscle was replaced by new, healthy heart tissue.
The medical community is encouraged by the two institutions who have produced these results. No fly-by-night institutions, they are stalwarts, Cedar Sinai and Johns Hopkins. This discovery begs the question, will liver stem cells help to treat liver disease as well as the same question for kidney disease, etc.
Another question may be what do these discoveries mean for seniors as we age. While these discoveries are still in the test stage and won’t be ready for the general public for some years, how will they affect other age related infirmities.
In a separate study, Diane Sawyer and ABC News Medical Correspondent, Dr, Richard Besser, reported that Dr. Roberto Boli, Director of Cardiology at University of Louisville, had success with the same tissue. Citing the results of a 2009 study on stem cell test patient, Mike Jones, the very first to receive the treatment, Jones said it not only gave him more years to live, but a better quality of life during those years.
Senior hearts may be healthier and stronger, but will our aging minds know what to do with the new strength as we approach senility. There are still many questions to be answered as we watch this amazing new discovery