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Can the heart be regenerated after a heart attack?

More than 30 international experts, brought together by B·Debate and the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute from 28 to 30 November in Barcelona, aim to contribute solutions to treat heart failure.

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24.11.2012

By Biocat

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death around the world. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), this pathology was the cause of one third of all deaths around the world in 2008, a figure that could persist through 2030.

The most prevalent cardiovascular disease is ischemic heart disease, which leads to various long-term after effects. This pathology is caused by risk factors that can’t be modified, like age and gender, but also by others resulting from poor habits, like smoking and high cholesterol. In Europe and the United States alone, 1.5 million acute myocardial infarctions are treated each year.

From 28 to 30 November, at CosmoCaixa Barcelona, more than 30 international experts will debate on heart failure, one of the key challenges facing health systems in developed countries and, increasingly, in developing countries as well. This will take place under the framework of the scientific debate Unsolved Problems in Heart Repair organized by B·Debate and the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR).

Dr. Manuel Galiñanes: “This is a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for effectively treating patients with heart failure”

Regenerative medicine promises encouraging solutions to treat heart failure, but the lack of uniformity and agreement on methods used makes it difficult to compare results obtained in the laboratory. The aim of these scientific debates organized by B·Debate is to discuss the limitations of current experimental methods and strategies in treating heart disease and establish standards to improve new clinical studies, interpretation of data obtained and transfer of results to clinical practice.

The scientific leader for this event is Dr. Manuel Galiñanes, head of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and head of the VHIR Reparative Therapy of the Heart Research Group. He defined the event as “a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for carrying out animal studies that will give us the knowledge necessary to effectively treat patients with heart failure.”

Noteworthy participants include Dominique Charron, expert in the effects of administering allogenic cells (from a donor) on the immune system; Bernardo Nadal-Ginard, the first to promote the idea that it is possible for the myocardia to be regenerated; and Asterios Tsiftsoglou, expert in the mechanisms that regulate clinical applications of cell therapy.

Follow the debate on Twitter @BDebate with the tag #BDebate

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New heart cells can be obtained from other cell types to regenerate affected tissue.

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