Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure

By Philip Kramar

One of the deadliest killers in the world today it is heart disease. But all Congestive heart failure, a condition found secondary to many major cardiac diseases, possesses its own high mortality rate. Five years is the time period in which up to 50% of those diagnosed will die. The exact mechanism of the disease is heart to understand and scientists are struggling to find a cure.

Congestive heart failure results as the cells in the heart die or become non-functioning due to an event such as a myocardial infarction (a heart attack) or ischemic heart disease. Whatever the cause, the heart is subsequently unable to pump blood adequately throughout the body, resulting in the blood pooling in the organs and fluid building up in and around the lungs as sodium is unable to be properly excreted, causing the dyspnea that is the classic symptom of congestive heart failure.

The possibility of repairing the damage cells in the heart and the treatment of the disease is targeted by clinical research. There are lots of new medications that would assist in vasodilation that are currently being researched, there are medications currently on the market that present a higher incidence of cardiac arrhythmia that couldn't be stopped by the current research.

In the age of natural medicine, the power of the mind has been invoked in clinical trials to use meditation and relaxation techniques to combat the stress on the heart, they can be the breaking point for patients with heart failure. Stress has been shown to negatively affect the body's blood pressure, forcing the heart to work harder and placing an undue amount of pressure on an already weakened muscle. The theory lies in the belief that by learning to maintain a low level of mental stress the heart will be less stressed and therefore less likely to fail completely, and in the end the patient can be given a better prognosis.

Alongside the return to natural, holistic methods of treatment is an incredible advancement in clinical technology that was not available twenty or thirty years ago. Attempts are being made to reverse the effects of congestive heart disease, scientists are now claiming to have identified a set of altered genes that can make an individual more disposed to suffer from this type of heart disease. In addition, medications to tamp down on the genes' activities, such as beta blockers and alpha-2 agonists are already available and being used in treatment programs.

There are many types of research and one of these is stem cell research, this uses the bodies pluripotent progenitors which assist in the repair of the damage to heart tissue. Clinical trials showed that patients suffering from congestive heart failure responded very favorably to an injection of their own stem cells into the heart, although the exact means by which this causes improvement is as yet unknown. It is suspected that these cells either facilitate the growth of new vessels in the heart or act as beacon, attracting the body's own healing cells to the site of the damage and stimulating repair.

The possibility of actually growing healthy tissue from embryonic stem cells to be transplanted is also being explored, although the controversial nature of the use of embryonic stem cells makes this questionable. Embryo stem cells are used as an adequate number of new cells that meet the needs of the patients cannot be produced by adults.

Heart failure is incredibly dangerous because the body cannot reproduce the dead tissue cells in the heart; however, with modern advancements it is hoped that researchers will one day find a cure. - 30540

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