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Thursday, February 15, 2007

A New Way To Treat Heart Failure?

The cool thing about this company, called BioControl is that they have already developed a product to treat urinary incontinence, a disease which almost 60 million around the world suffer with.

Now it seems that they are using the same technology (although slightly tweaked) to treat another deadly symptom--heart failure.

(Israel 21st Century) CardioFit is the first known device that treats heart conditions via nerve stimulation. The electrical stimulator system is designed to improve heart function through the controlled stimulation of the vagus nerve which is found in the neck. Pre-clinical and preliminary clinical data demonstrate that vagus nerve stimulation has a therapeutic role in treating heart failure as it may reduce the heart rate and ventricular volumes, in addition to restoring regular rhythm.

"It's been found that this stimulation reduces stress on the heart and lets it heal," said Cohen. "The sympathetic nerve system increases activity to the heart and the parasympathetic system reduces stress on the heart. Whenever there's a shortage of oxygen or blood supply to the heart, the sympathetic system kicks in to supply more. With more blood, there's more oxygen, but that's the cause of heart attacks - the heart can't cope with that extra stress. By increasing the parasympathetic system - which we do with electrical stimulation, we overcome that imbalance."

To my knowledge, usually what happens is that a doctor prescribes one drug or another that will hopefully slow down the heart failure, but not strengthen the heart (at least to full strength).

What makes this technology great is that patients will not have to worry about chemical side effects (which can sometimes sound worse than the affliction) which should make this device VERY attractive--at least in America and Europe.

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