Journalist Larry Husten, on his Cardiobrief blog, writes, “Hype Aside, Hope for Stem Cell Therapy May Be Emerging From Hibernation.”
It was one of the only notes of caution we saw in our limited sampling of news stories about an analysis of an experimental stem cell intervention in 14 people – only 8 of whom were followed for a year. Husten wrote:
“Two small studies of cardiac stem cells for the treatment of heart failure have shown promise, but ABC News, CBS News and other media outlets are throwing around words like “medical breakthrough” and “heart failure cure.” ABC News correspondent Richard Besser was so enthusiastic that anchor Diane Sawyer commented that she had never seen him “so excited.” The first author of one of the studies, Roberto Bolli, said the work could represent “the biggest advance in cardiology in my lifetime.”
The reality may be somewhat more prosaic.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
“Am I having a heart attack?” From the files of the strange and unusual comes this self-test kit for myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack.
For the lay people out there, a heart attack occurs when bloodflow to the heart muscle stops, usually because of a blockage in the arteries around the heart (coronary arteries). (It’s what happened to Bill Clinton, although his heart muscle didn’t die, as it likely had collateral bloodflow from other arteries.) When bloodflow stops, the heart muscle dies. When the heart muscle cells die, they release compounds into the bloodstream which can then be detected on blood draws.
That is the basis for detecting a heart attack by drawing blood. There are some compounds that are specific to the heart, such as troponins that will only go up when the heart muscle is dying. Other enzymes, such as the CK go up with any muscle damage, including the heart.
That is the basis of this new self-test kit for heart attack testing from China Sky One Medical that tries to answer the “Am I having a heart attack?” question at home. It was approved in China in 2007 and recently received European Union clearance as well. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*