Topeka (WIBW) - Topeka's Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center is taking part in a study that could stop a person who's had a heart attack from having another one.
While a person can change risk factors like diet and exercise, a person who's had a heart attack often develops an enlarged heart.
Cardiologist Dr. Lambert Wu, who's involved in the study for Cotton-O'Neil, says an englarged heart has weaker function. It can also put the person at risk for problems with rhythms, another heart attack, or even sudden death.
The study gives first time heart attack patients, within seven days of their heart attack, a one-time infusion of stem cells harvested from healthy adults. It's thought those adult stem cells will keep the heart from enlarging.
Dr. Wu says it's thought the stem cells home into the area of damage and decrease the inflammation, which will control the enlarging process. He says another train of thought is that the adult stem cells might grow into heart cells and make the heart stronger.
Patients don't know if they received the stem cells or a placebo.
Cotton-O'Neil is one of 40 facilities taking part in the study.