MRI Scan and Stroke Risk

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that affects millions of people. It can make you feel lousy. Even worse, it can cause potentially disabling or deadly strokes. A special MRI scan may help identify people with atrial fibrillation who are at high risk of having a stroke. This could help many people with this condition to avoid taking warfarin or other clot-preventing medications for life. A normal heartbeat starts in a cluster of cells called the pacemaker. It sits in the heart’s ...
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MRI shows heart ages differently in women than in men.

The analysis of MRI scans of the ageing hearts of nearly 3,000 adults was led by investigators at Johns Hopkins.' Our results are a striking demonstration of the concept that heart disease may have different pathophysiology in men and women and of the need for tailored treatments that address such important biologic differences,' said João Lima of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who led the research. Published in the journal Radiology, this is believed to be the first long-term ...
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Battery-free pacemaker powered by the heart itself

Scientists are developing next-generation battery-free implantable pacemakers that may be powered by an unlikely source, the heart itself. The advancement is based upon a piezoelectric system that converts vibrational energy, created inside the chest by each heartbeat, into electricity to power the pacemaker. "Essentially, we're creating technology that will allow pacemakers to be powered by the very heart that they are regulating," said M Amin Karami, assistant professor of mechanical engineeri...
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Artificial Foam Heart Created

Cornell University researchers have developed a new lightweight and stretchable material with the consistency of memory foam that has potential for use in prosthetic body parts, artificial organs and soft robotics. The foam is unique because it can be formed and has connected pores that allow fluids to be pumped through it. The foam starts as a liquid, so researchers can pour it into a 3D printed mould in order to form the heart, adding appropriate valves to the finished structure. This means...
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The Dash – completely wireless stereo earphones

A revolutionary innovation, The Dash consists of a pair of discrete and completely wireless stereo earphones where each earphone is its own, tiny, proprietary computer. Everything about the Dash is focused on delivering freedom of movement, incredible sound and comfort. Music is a part of everyone’s life. It brings joy, excitement and motivation. However it is not always a pleasure listening to music with headphones. Cables tangle and pull at the headphones and ultimately break. In addi...
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Delivering missing protein heals damaged hearts in animals

Researchers have discovered that a particular protein, Fstl1, plays a key role in regenerating dead heart-muscle cells. Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have enabled damaged heart tissue in animals to regenerate by delivering a protein to it via a bioengineered collagen patch. There is currently no effective treatment to reverse the scarring in the heart after heart attacks. Heart attacks cause millions of deaths annually worldwide and are predi...
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Tension helps heart cells develop normally in the lab.

Stanford researchers Beth Pruitt and Alexandre Ribeiro have discovered that a heart cell matured from stem cells in the lab looks and behaves like a normal adult heart cell when grown in a long, thin shape and on a surface that provides some tension. Pruitt and her colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine began working on the problem of how to develop more normal looking heart cells through a Stanford Bio-X grant in 2010. At the time, their goal was to find ways of probing the me...
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WATCHMAN device offers option to patients with irregular heart beats

FDA approved WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device is a first-of-its-kind, proven alternative to long-term warfarin therapy for stroke risk reduction in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. The WATCHMAN™ LAAC Device is designed specifically for the left atrial appendage. Featuring an intra-LAA design to avoid contact with the left atrial wall, the WATCHMAN device is engineered to conform to the unique anatomy of the LAA to reduce embolization risk. The device offers a new stro...
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UV-light enabled catheter fixes heart defects without surgery

The newly designed catheter device utilizes UV light technology and can be used to place the patch in a beating heart without open heart surgery. Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Karp Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have jointly designed a specialized catheter for fixing holes in the heart using a biodegradable adhesive ...
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New prosthetic heart valve offers alternative to open heart surgery

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a novel prosthetic heart valve, known as VeloX, which can be implanted through a small incision for the treatment of a serious heart valve disorder called mitral regurgitation. This is a condition in which the mitral valve on the left side of the heart does not close properly. The device is particularly beneficial to patients who are of high surgical risk or are unsuitable for existing clinical interventions. ...
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New Harvard research says butter apparently isn’t better

Scientists have discovered that those who replaced saturated fats with whole grains or unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils and nuts, had a lowered risk of heart disease. While research last year seemed to exonerate butter as being a health food, recent research out of Harvard has suggested otherwise. The findings contradict a controversial paper published in 2014 that said there was little evidence that reducing saturated fat lead to lessened risk for heart disease. But researchers said ...
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A mirror that monitors vital signs

Wish you could check your vital stats while brushing your teeth? Thanks to the new innovation by MIT PhD student Ming-Zher Poh, reading your pulse and other vital stats may someday be as easy as standing in your bathroom. Working with public-domain software, Poh developed a way to measure the pulse by analyzing subjects sitting in front of a two-way mirror. The MIT Media Lab Medical Mirror is equipped with a computer monitor along with a built-in camera that tracks changes in brightness pr...
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Lowering Beta-blocker dose may boost survival after heart attack

A new study suggests that low dose beta-blockers may be as effective as high dose after a heart attack. Surprisingly, heart attack patients live as long or even longer on one-fourth the suggested dose. In a surprising new finding, heart attack patients treated with a substantially lower dosage of beta-blockers than used in earlier clinical trials, survived at the same rate, or even better, than patients on the higher doses used in those trials. In fact, patients who received one-fourth of ...
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Cheaper, Faster, More Accurate Test to Identify Gene Defects in Heart Patients

Stanford researchers have designed a new technique to test cardiac patients for any genes that might be causing problems. This new technique could eventually enable doctors to diagnose genetic heart diseases by rapidly scanning more than 85 genes known to cause cardiac anomalies. For the subset of heart patients whose illness isn’t caused by a lifetime of cigarettes, trans fats or high glycemic foods, a new genetic test developed at the Stanford University School of Medicine may be able to...
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Personalized heart models for surgical planning

A new system can convert MRI scans into 3D-printed, physical models in a few hours. Researchers at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient’s heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery. The models could provide a more intuitive way for surgeons to assess and prepare for the anatomical idiosyncrasies of individual patients. MRI data consist of a series of cross ...
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A Novel Stethoscope Save Costs and Save Lives

A new cardiac stethoscope funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) helps doctors detect heart failure more effectively than ever before. Despite advances in medicine that make many heart conditions treatable, the absence of effective, early diagnosis often leads to sudden, unexpected deaths. Annually more than one million patients are hospitalized due to heart failure and the cost of health care services, medications to treat heart failure etc. are tremendous. Furthermore most of the p...
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Stick-on Micro-Electric Medical Tattoo Invented

A novel stick on tattoo has been developed that can effectively measure data about the human heart, brain waves and muscle activity. The latest in medical invention is new type of ultra-thin, self-adhesive electronic device that can effectively measure the aforementioned vital signs without the use of bulky equipment, conductive fluids, or glues. This product is in the form of a tattoo which has to be applied to the skin like any ink transfer tattoo. It is made from a rubbery polymer subst...
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