According to a recent study the damage caused to cardiac cells due to a heart failure can be avoided by allowing the heart to rest.
The research was carried in rats at Imperial College London showed that the effect of heart failure on the cardiac muscles is not permanent as people generally think. The findings of the research could help the scientists to discover new treatment strategies.
Heart failure occurs when the cardiac muscles become too weak or stiff to pump the blood normally and this becomes the major reason of heart attack. In UK alone, a total of approx. 750,000 people are suffering from heart failure.
In case of severe heart failure, it can lead to the risk of death within one year and even worse than cancer and hence it is very essential to discover new treatment methods for heart failure, the European Journal of Heart Failure reported.
Patients who are facing the advanced stage of heart failure are fitted with a left ventricle assist device (LVAD) in many cases. LVAD is a small pump that stimulates the proper function of heart by reducing strain in the left ventricle, which is responsible for pumping the blood around the main circulation of the body and is the largest chamber of the heart.
In 2006, researchers at Imperial headed by Professor Magdi Yacoub, showed that if the heart is allowed to rest using an LVAD fitted for a limited time, this can help the cardiac muscle recover, according to a university statement.
Moreover, the researchers also studied the changes that occurred in cardiac muscle cells during the heart failure in rats, and whether "unloading" the heart can reverse these changes.
"If you injure a muscle in your leg, you rest it and this allows it to recover," said Cesare Terracciano, from the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) at Imperial, who supervised the study.
"The heart can't afford to rest - it has to keep beating continuously. LVADs reduce the load on the heart while maintaining the supply of blood to the body, and this seems to help the heart recover," said Terracciano.
-With inputs from IANS.
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