Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pain medication may hinder heart attack recovery, study finds

Giving heart attack patients pain relief may actually hinder their recovery, according to researchers who say the stabbing ache in the chest actually stimulates the body to repair itself. The pain signals stem cells to repair the damaged heart cells, it has been found. The study may help explain why heart attack patients given morphine are more likely to die and could lead to new approaches to treatment. Researchers at Bristol University found that a molecule involved in the sensation of pain is released from nerves in the heart during a heart attack. Called Substance P, it draws stem cells from the bone marrow to the area of heart muscle that has been starved of oxygen by the attack. Once there, the stem cells can create new blood vessels to supply fresh blood to the heart cells. The findings, from initial experiments in mice and early results in humans, were published in the journal Circulation

No comments: