How can a broken heart be fixed? If the electric genes technology works, maybe they will be able to fix themselves.
Cardiovascular diseases include different coronary and blood vessel disorders, such as congenital, rheumatic and coronary heart disease, etc.
According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide and only in the EU 1.9 million people died for this cause in 2013.
For this reason, Dr. Daniël Pijnappels, heart scientist at Leiden University Medical Centre, in the Netherlands, has started a first-of-a-kind study with an innovative solution for this kind of diseases. As if it was a computer, the purpose of this project is to get the heart to “restart” itself to recover its normal beating heart without the need of pacemakers, wires, software or electric shocks.
To achieve that, proteins made by genes are introduced into the heart. These proteins are able to detect disturbances in the rhythm and to produce their own electric current, stopping the arrythmia from within.
According to Dr. Pijnappels, this gene therapy would allow the organs themselves to become their own remedy when necessary. At the moment, they are still looking for the right proten to alter, but once it’s found, many heart diseases will be remedied and even prevented without surgery or electronic devices.
Dr. Pijnappels project has been funded by the European Research Council and will last five years.
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