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Pain Repairs Heart


Pain Repairs Heart

(ePharmaNews) - Feeling the pain of a heart attack could actually help the heart minimise damage, say academics in the University of Bristol.

Heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery serving the heart with oxygen. As a blockage cuts off the oxygen supply to the heart, cells die and the heart often suffers permanent damage. Researchers found the accompanying chest pain, signaled through cardiac nerves, may help attract stem cells to the site of the blockage to repair some of the damage.


Dr Hélène Wilson, Research Advisor, said: “Pain is a very complicated process. It’s not just the body’s way of warning you that something is wrong – when we feel pain, it can also be a sign that the body is doing what it can to fix the problem.”


This new study, published in the Circulation, shows that a key molecule in the body’s ability to sense pain, called Substance P, is released from nerve terminals in the heart during a heart attack. Substance P then mobilises stem cells from the bone marrow to the site of the artery blockage. The stem cells have the ability to generate new vessels to bypass the blockage and restore some of the blood flow.

Professor Paolo Madeddu, who led the study, said: “After a heart attack, the heart can’t mend itself properly. That’s why tens of thousands of heart attack patients in the UK are affected by the debilitating symptoms of heart failure.”

After initial experiments in mice, the researchers went on to show that the Substance P released by cardiac nerves may play a role in stem-cell mediated recovery after a heart attack in human patients. The discovery points to a new possible route for future therapies to repair a damaged heart.

 Professor Paolo Madeddu said: “Our discovery shows that pain receptors are involved in repairing damaged blood vessels, through recruiting stem cells, could point towards new ways to harness the body’s natural mechanisms of repair. The ultimate aim is to develop a therapy which will regenerate the muscle damaged or lost after a heart attack” and he added “As well as opening up exciting new avenues for new heart repair treatments, this discovery highlights the potential role of pain in our natural response to having a heart attack. The pain of a heart attack is extremely distressing for patients, and we have to do everything we can to keep it to a minimum. But this discovery opens up the possibility that in the future we might be able to harness pain more effectively in the crucial window just after a heart attack, when there could be an opportunity to keep damage to a minimum.”

This study is particularly important when linked with the heart attack statistics around the world; WHO estimated in 2004, that 12.2% of the worldwide deaths were from heart attack, and it would continue to be the main cause of death till 2030.


اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

ePharmaNews






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