Innovative Pacemaker & Defibrillator Leads To Strengthening Of Heart Muscles

ID-10083955Over time, the essential understanding of molecular biology behind cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has improved. This is because the gene-protein interaction has allowed better prognostic models to prevail.

The quality of defibrillators has improved in recent times, translating in improved cardiac care and survival rate. One such successful model has been researched at the National Institute of Health. The work has been done by an umbrella organization, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. They have developed an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

The ICD has provided a good preventable model that allows the detector to send electrical pulses in case of a life threatening arrhythmias (irregular beat).

Also, patients with CVD have different daily routines, and may not be in a convenient location when help is needed. “Sudden cardiac arrest can happen without warning, and with no symptoms of heart disease,” says Philips Healthcare, underscoring why AED brands defibrillators are the appropriate response to an emergency. Fortunately, more and more patients are taking this threat seriously and investing in equipment that could very well keep them alive. 

Another achievement by researchers in the case of CVD is that of a modified pacemaker. The work done at John Hopkins Institute has shown how the device strengthens a failing heart.

Normally, the pacemaker serves to function as a remedy, technically known as cardiac resynchronization therapy. As per this therapy, the heart beat is coordinated in a regulated manner. Researchers have now been able to show that this rhythmic correction leads to improved cardiac muscles.

From the cardiac patient’s perspective, this is a major finding. First of all, this breakthrough has given researchers the chance to look at alternate pathways for therapeutic care. Secondly, pacemakers are routinely used by CVD patients to sync their heart beat, so it can be used for patients with weakening heart muscles as well.

The study was also able to prove the link between CRT and strengthening of heart muscles using an animal model. The researchers found that in cases where desynchronization of heart beat had taken place, the calcium produced by muscles and their activity was reduced.

In the experimental setup, they found that the CRT was able to induce more production of calcium, leading to enhanced activity of the muscles. This provides clear cut biochemical pathways, which researchers can use to produce a more effective drug for CVD.

Apart from calcium, researchers were able to find that CRT induced activity of a protein known as GSK 3 Beta. So now scientists are getting a better view of which proteins and enzymes are deactivated when the heart beat goes out of rhythm or there is a weakening of the muscles.

From the end user point of view, it is clear that modified pacemakers and modern defibrillators can serve a dual purpose. The role of customized pacemakers or automated defibrillators is also important for normalizing the heart beat in a specific environment. Such knowledge is vital and provides further hope that researchers can use the findings of the aforementioned innovations to provide a holistic solution.


“Image courtesy of khuruzero /”.

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