Since the human heart is unable to repair itself, many cardiac arrest patients are left with debilitating scars that can lead to subsequent issues. That might change as scientists discover way to cure heart attacks using mRNA technology used in COVID vaccines.
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The same genetic tracking technology that was used to develop Covid vaccinations is now being utilized to help regenerate hearts that have been damaged by cardiac arrests.
Scientists at King’s College London have studied mRNAs, which are genetic codes that manufacture proteins that help to create healthy cardiac cells.
According to The Times, the breakthrough discovery could result in the world’s first heart attack cure.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations were developed using identical technology.
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Professor Mauro Giacca, the lead researcher, said: ‘We are all born with a set number of muscle cells in our heart and they are exactly the same ones we will die with. The heart has no capacity to repair itself after a heart attack. Our goal has been to find a treatment that can convince surviving cells to proliferate.
‘Regenerating a damaged human heart has been a dream until a few years ago, but can now become a reality.
‘We are using exactly the same technology as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to inject micro RNAs to the heart, reaching surviving heart cells and pushing their proliferation. The new cells would replace the dead ones and instead of forming a scar, the patient has new muscle tissue.’
Giacca’s group is headquartered at King’s College London’s British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence.
They are also focusing on a medication to prevent cells from dying during a heart attack, in addition to assisting hearts regenerate.
Every year, about 100,000 people in the UK are admitted to hospital after suffering a heart attack triggered by a restricted blood flow to the heart.
Cardiac arrests induce serious heart muscle damage and the death of up to 100 billion cardiac cells.
Because the human heart is unable to repair itself, many cardiac arrest patients are left with debilitating scars that can lead to subsequent issues.
The new RNA (ribonucleic acid) therapy, according to scientists, has the potential to redefine cardiovascular care by preventing millions of heart attacks from advancing to heart failure.
Thus far, trials to repair injured pig hearts have been successful, with human trials expected in the next two years.