BACKGROUND: Immune modulation therapy (IMT) is a new way to treat patients with chronic heart failure. The therapy triggers an immune response, which improves cardiac function by reducing harmful inflammation.
ABOUT IMMUNOTHERAPY: The human immune system has many components that work together to defend the body against invaders, including bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins, and parasites. If an invader gets past the initial barrier into the body, the immune system can detect it. The immune system triggers the release of antibodies or proteins to fight off the invader. Immunotherapy is treatment that uses certain parts of the immune system to work harder by triggering it via an outside source, such as manmade immune system proteins. Immunotherapy with proteins is similar to the use of vaccines, in which a patient is injected with a weakened form of a disease, leading to an immunity against future invasions by a particular strain. Immunotherapy is most effective when treating small, early forms of cancer, but continued research could expand its usefulness to more advanced forms of cancer and other diseases.
HAVE A HEART: The heart pumps 5.6 liters of blood through the entire body in roughly 20 seconds; each day your blood travels some 12,000 miles, and your heart beats about 100,000 times. This delivers oxygen and other essential nutrients to the body's cells and organs. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off, either because part of the heart is damaged (such as the valves to the chambers), or because plaque has built up inside the arteries, narrowing them and severely restricting blood flow. Symptoms of a heart attack include a squeezing discomfort in the center of the chest, pain or tingling in the left arm, shortness of breath, and sometimes a cold sweat, nausea, or dizziness.