Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gene Therapy Shows Early Promise Against Heart Failure

Heart Disease affects upwards of 5.7 million Americans, according to the American Heart Association. Sadly, despite the illness taking such a toll, there's been little progress towards a cure.

Fortunately there might be good news for the millions of Americans who suffer from it. There is a trial that is using gene therapy which appears to have boosted patients' cardiac function.

Dr. Justine Lachmann, who directs the Congestive Heart Failure Program at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY explains, "This type of an intervention would be the ultimate method to reconstruct damage heart tissue so they it can be mechanically functional again."

This new study enlisted cutting-edge gene therapy to try to reverse cardiac damage. Lead by Dr. H. Kirk Hammond of the VA San Diego Healthcare System, the study involved 56 patients with symptomatic heart failure whose heart function was diminished by up to 40 percent.

Some patients in the study got the treatment, while the others got a placebo only. The Outcomes were tracked for one year.

Patients on who were provided the treatment seemed to stay healthier. According to the researchers, while 29 percent of those on a placebo ended up being admitted to a hospital for heart failure over the year of follow-up, only 9.5 percent of those who got the gene transfer therapy did so.

Another cardiologist was quoted saying, This trial offers the hope that a single non-drug, non-device treatment could accomplish a hat trick of positive results: improve ejection fraction, reduce hospital readmission and improve relaxation of the heart muscle during its filling phase.

I believe that this study is remarkable! To be able to finally have a cure to heart failure that does not include drugs or any type of invasive surgery will be nothing short of profound.

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