University of Bristol - Gene genies heal broken hearts

April 15, 2010

Gene therapy could be an effective way to improve survival rates among heart attack patients, research funded by the British Heart Foundation suggests. Costanza Emanueli, BHF senior research fellow at the University of Bristol, has shown that the nerve growth factor (NGF) - so called because it promotes the growth of nerve cells - can also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Researchers used a virus to deliver extra copies of the gene into the hearts of mice. Thirty days after they were given heart attacks, 80 per cent of the mice that received the treatment were still alive, compared with 60 per cent that were not treated.

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