As happens with any other muscle in the body, the heart needs rest after any type of strenuous activity or having suffered an ailment. In this way, rest would be fundamental to recover a heart that has been damaged by an illness Such as heart failure. It is the principal and revealing conclusion that can be drawn from a study conducted in rats at the Imperial College of London and has published the European Journal of Heart Failure.
Thus, contrary to what was previously thought, the rest can reverse the damage caused by heart failure in muscle cells, so the effects would not be permanent and could be reversed.
This is a revolutionary discovery that may open a new avenue for the development of new treatments for heart failure. It must be taken into account that this disease is one of the most habitual, disabling and lethal. It is characterized by the inability of the heart to pump blood at the levels necessary to meet the demands of metabolism. As a result, it can lead to a heart attack.
This condition affects between 1 and 2% of the population over 40 years and in 10% of people over 60 years. The prognosis of severe heart failure cannot be more daunting, as it causes death in the first year in a high percentage of cases. That is why developing new, more effective treatments can save the lives of millions of people each year.
This new research starts from the basic idea that when any muscle is injured, we let it recover by resting. This study has deepened in the analysis of the mechanisms that occur in the muscle cells of the heart when heart failure occurs.
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Unlike other muscles, the problem is given because the heart cannot rest, so placing devices temporary assistance help reduce the burden on the heart without the blood supply to the body decreases. This would help the heart make less effort and therefore be able to recover.
The researchers found in their experiments with rats that the changes that had occurred in the structure of the muscle cells of a damaged heart were reversed.
This is the first time it has been shown that the process caused by heart failure is reversible. The made ahead with researchers from now is to discover the molecular mechanisms of these changes, which would induce recovery without any assistive device implanted in the heart.