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Developing Therapies to Reverse Heart Damage

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Researchers Dr. Steven Houser and Dr. Walter Koch have been on a quest to prevent and repair damage to the heart cells for decades, with the goals of changing the lives of patients with heart disease.
Researchers Dr. Steven Houser and Dr. Walter Koch have been on a quest to prevent and repair damage to the heart cells for decades, with the goals of changing the lives of patients with heart disease.

Rethinking Methods to Prevent and Reverse Heart Damage

Every year, nearly 800,000 Americans experience a heart attack. One in 5 heart attacks happen without the patient ever being aware, yet can cause permanent damage and greatly reduce longevity and quality of life.

At Temple, internationally renowned heart researchers Steven Houser, PhD, and Walter Koch, PhD, are changing the course of heart treatment — and of heart disease itself. 
 

Repairing Heart Muscle: Parallel Paths  

Original thinkers, Drs. Houser and Koch are pursuing dramatically different ways to improve outcomes and change the lives of patients with heart disease.

After a heart attack, the heart “remodels” itself — changing its shape to compensate for dead and damaged heart tissue — which actually makes the heart less efficient and leads to further heart failure. Dr. Houser’s team is working to reduce injury after a heart attack to improve the structure and function of the heart— a novel approach to stop this harmful remodeling process as soon as possible.

Reversing the effects of heart failure requires a different approach. Dr. Koch’s team uses gene therapy after a heart attack, focusing on a special enzyme that regulates the force and speed of the heart’s contraction.

This research will move into clinical trials soon — signaling a major transformation in heart disease treatment. 

At Temple Health, we find solutions to complex conditions — creating new hope and better options for patients with heart disease.

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