Direct Study of the Heart Muscle
Recently, we have developed techniques to study the heart muscle directly, which allow us to go beyond imaging to better understand heart function. Our researchers are studying the cells and genes of the heart to determine when muscle damage occurs and when it becomes important.
These studies will provide a non-invasive basis for developing methods for preventing the deterioration of heart function.
Drugs can be used in certain situations to forestall heart muscle deterioration and to deal with associated problems like abnormal heart rhythms. However, drug treatment currently is of limited value.
Another goal of Institute research is to expand the potential for drug therapy to counteract deterioration of heart function, stall or eliminate the need for surgery, and increase the rate and completeness of recovery when surgery is performed.