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New tissue weaving approach helps cardiac recovery

Following in from news that loud noise exposure can lead to high blood pressure and a risk of heart attacks, which presents a concern for certain occupations, we looks at three medical developments that are charting progress in relation to heart health.

Linking PTSD and heart disease

A new study finds that people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face a higher risk of heart disease at an earlier age than people without PTSD. The reason for this is in relation to medical evidence of dysfunction in small blood vessels. This appears to be driven by the sympathetic nervous system (this is the system behind the fight-or-flight response), together with oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the bloodstream.

The finding which comes from the Virginia Commonwealth University, points towards a new area of medical inquiry and will allow for preventative measures to be taken.

Blood vessel weaving

Medics from Inserm/University of Bordeaux in France have shown that a new textile approach to tissue engineering allows blood vessels to be formed into multiple shapes. This is by weaving, braiding or knitting the threads. This process provides good control of the mechanical properties of the vessels.

By using ‘natural’ blood vessel grafts, these can be used to replace diseased arteries. This addresses a problem with synthetic blood vessels, which the body sometimes rejects as being composed for foreign material.

Reducing chemotherapy heart attack risks

A new study finds that various biomarkers can be used to determine whether a person’s cancer treatment may be harming their heart. It is hoped that these biomarkers will eventually allow doctors to assess cardiovascular side effects of chemotherapy with a simple blood test early in the treatment process. This insight comes from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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