Research

The Beat
December 2012

AHA 2012: Engineering Success in Heart Failure

Successfully managing heart failure is one the looming issues for cardiovascular medicine, with prevalence expected to grow significantly over the coming decades. The plenary session “Engineering Success in Heart Failure” looked at where things are headed, from therapy to devices to delivery of care. Now that we know that the heart does regenerate, albeit slowly—nine to 10 times in a lifetime—various types of stem cells offer intriguing possibilities for the treatment of heart failure. For recent developments, see “Stem Cells for Cardiac Repair” within our AHA coverage.

The Beat
December 2012

AHA 2012: New Class of Drugs Substantially Lowers “Bad” Cholesterol

Some of the biggest news to come out of AHA this year was the results from preliminary clinical trials of two new LDL cholesterol-lowering drugs that show a substantial decrease in LDL levels well below the reductions seen with statins or ezetimibe alone. The new drugs belong to a class called PCSK9 inhibitors, which increase the liver’s ability to clear LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) from the bloodstream by binding to and blocking the protein PCSK9 that interferes with this clearance process.

The Beat
December 2012

CCC 2012: Improved Quality of Life Despite Post-Surgical Brain Deficits

Patients placed on a heart-lung machine for heart surgery have a high incidence of neurocognitive deficits, including memory loss, attention deficits and decline in motor skills. New data from Heart Institute investigators provide some reassurance, though, that many of these deficits resolve over time, and even patients with residual deficits report a better quality of life than before surgery.

The Beat
December 2012

AHA 2012: Stem Cells for Cardiac Repair

The use of stem cells for regenerating damaged heart tissue offers great potential, but many technical questions remain. Understanding which cell types are most beneficial and how they should be employed is a central issue. Several clinical trials involving stem cells were presented at AHA. Two were of particular interest. SCIPIO, a phase I clinical trial, is the first to assess the effectiveness of cardiac stem cells (CSCs) for treating ischemic heart failure. Dr.

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