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Cell transplants could reduce after effects of heart attacks

Cell transplants could reduce after effects of heart attacks
7th December 2007

Genetically engineered cells could reduce the risk of a fatal condition which occurs after a heart attack, according to scientists.

Research by the University of Bonn suggests that if the cells are transplanted into the heart they could prevent ventricular tachycardia, a type of arrhythmia, which can cause sudden death after a heart attack.

The study, which appears in Nature, tested the effects of the cells on mice and found that they conducted an electrical signal which helped drop the rate of ventricular tachycardia by 60 per cent.

Dr Bernd Fleischmann, who led the study, said that further research was necessary before the technique could be used on humans.

Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British heart foundation told the BBC that the study provided "vital insight" into research which could "prevent the dangerous consequences of heart attacks in people".

According to Bupa, arrhythmia, which is a disturbance in the hearts normal rhythm, affects over 700,000 people throughout England.

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