Chest pain is the first symptom of a heart attack. Irreversible cell death occurs as a consequence of the occlusion of one or more coronary arteries. Hector Cabrera, a microbiologist, has developed a new treatment that could reduce this cell death by as much as 17%.
Cabrera carried out a study on chronically ill patients with hypertension and diabetes who suffered a heart attack with chest pain beforehand. He compared the amount of cells that died using his method to the amount of cells that died in patients that received the usual care. He found that patients benefited from his new approach to heart attack treatment.
Cabrera’s first research was not about heart disease, but cancer treatment. He studied bacteria that produce ribonucleases when they are exposed to stress. These ribonucleases damage RNA. When applied correctly, these bacteria could destroy cancer cells from within. After this research, Cabrera realized that RNA plays a role in inflammation and cell damage and that ribonucleases could be used to treat myocardial infarction. To induce the release of ribonucleases from the cells, he applies a pressure of 200 mmHg through a sphygmomanometer for five minutes, then lets the body relax before reapplying pressure.
A lot of damage is done to heart cells when blood flow is restored by removing the coronary occlusion. In fact, when the clot forms, some myocardial cells die immediately, while others adapt to the lack of oxygen. When the cardiologist infuses tPA or other similar medications, the blood clot is dissolved restoring the blood flow, but this causes the death of the cells that had previously adapted to the lack of oxygen. This is the reason why Cabrera’s method could be more beneficial for patients suffering from heart attack.
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