Associate Professor Richard Harvey and his team at The University of New South Wales (UNSW), working out of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, have found a way to stimulate heart muscle growth through an innovative new hormone treatment.
Our bodies can’t repair damaged hearts naturally because cell growth within the heart halts soon after birth. Previous studies have been able to stimulate some heart cell regeneration though not enough to be effective in treating heart attack victims.
The new technique is able to boost heart cell proliferation by as much 45% by “turbo-charging” a hormone called neuregulin, which influenced cell division greatly in adolescent and adult mice.
The end game is to one day succeed in regenerating damaged heart tissue, enabling the heart to effectively heal itself after an attack.