Childhood Heart Issues

Virus-free technique enables scientists to easily make stem cells pluripotent

Tiny circles of DNA are the key to a new and easier way to transform stem cells from human fat into induced pluripotent stem cells for use in regenerative medicine, say scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Unlike other commonly used techniques, the method, which is based on standard molecular biology practices, does not use viruses to introduce genes into the cells or permanently alter a cell's genome.

New gene linked to congenital heart defects

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have identified a new gene, ETS-1, that is linked to human congenital heart defects. The landmark study, recently published online in the journal of Human Molecular Genetics, provides important insights into some of the most prevalent forms of congenital heart defects in humans, including ventricular septal defects and potentially hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a uniformly fatal heart abnormality.

Proximity to convenience stores fosters child obesity

Childhood obesity is directly related to how close kids live to convenience stores, according to the preliminary findings of a major Canadian study presented at the Entretiens Jacques-Cartier in Lyon, France. The ongoing study is named QUALITY for Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth.

Healthy babies by the numbers

When a fetus is smaller than expected for the number of weeks of pregnancy, due to associated problems like a poorly developed heart, health concerns as severe as brain damage can result.

Fetal heart surgery may prevent full-blown left heart chamber disorder

Surgery performed in fetuses predicted to be born with a syndrome causing severely underdeveloped hearts helped some avoid developing the full-blown disorder and improved heart growth and function, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

MRI simulation of blood flow helps plan child's delicate heart surgery (w/ Video)

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, collaborating with pediatric cardiologists and surgeons at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, have developed a tool for virtual surgery that allows heart surgeons to view the predicted effects of different surgical approaches. By manipulating three-dimensional cardiac magnetic resonance images of a patient's specific anatomy, physicians can compare how alternative approaches affect blood flow and expected outcomes, and can select the best approach for each patient before entering the operating room.

Preventing The Sudden Death of Young Athletes From Hidden Heart Disorders

(PhysOrg.com) -- Few things stun a community more than when a seemingly healthy high school or collegiate athlete suddenly dies during practice or in competition from a hidden heart disorder.

Proper placement of defibrillators key to effective use

The appropriate placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is critical to optimize their use in public places, according to two studies published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New strategies to improve treatment and ultimately prevent heart failure in children

Structural cardiovascular abnormalities present at birth are the leading cause of heart failure in children. Nearly half a million children in the United States have structural heart problems ranging in severity from relatively simple issues, such as small holes between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, including complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

Study exposes need for pediatric cardiac devices

Nearly two-thirds of children who undergo routine interventional cardiology procedures
-- those involving a catheter to treat structural disorders of the heart -- may be receiving treatment with a device that's being used for an off-label application.

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