Telocytes discovered by Romanian medical researchers are recognised in U.S.

11-Nov-2010

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This is the medical breakthrough I would put my money into!! Despite dire financial circumstances, with the local budget being extremely low as compared to other European states, Romania has registered a recent breakthrough in medicine. HAS DISCOVERED TELOCYTES!! So far has been nominated for the Medicine Nobel Prize 19 times.  To put it simple telocytes are basicaly the stem cells’ assistants…

The discovery of the telocytes – a world first, made by a team of Romanian medical researchers from the Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology of Bucharest headed by Academician Laurentiu Mircea Popescu, who is the President of the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences has been recognised in the United States also.

According to a press release on Monday, the recent visit paid by Professor Doctor Laurentiu Mircea Popescu to the U.S. highlighted the acceptance of the telocytes as a new type of cells in the human body, which might revolutionise contemporary medicine.

During the two-week visit, Prof. Dr. Popescu gave several conferences and had a range of meetings with leading figures of the world’s medical circles, with Prof. Dr. P. Anversa saying, at the end of the talks, that he was ‘convinced of the existence of the telocytes” and saying that “a Romanian-U.S. partnership could become of a major importance for the treatment of myocardial infarction’ or heart attack, the release said.

Scientists of the Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology of Bucharest have discovered this new type of cells, called telocytes, which could join the stem cells in the regeneration and repairing of the human body, Victor Babes director Laurentiu Mircea Popescu had said. “At least in the case of myocardial infarction the evidence so far is encouraging.”

Researchers claim that one of the most interesting discoveries relates to the presence and role of telocytes in post-attack heart healing, as they massively help the heart muscle regenerate. According to doctors, the heart has the capacity to regenerate until the age of 25 by about 1% per year, while in the case of the elderly, this stands as 0.25% per year.

The stakes are very high, specialists claim, reminding that millions of lives could be saved, as the main cause of death worldwide are cardiovascular illnesses, the most common being myocardial infarction. Romania holds the grim record of having the highest death rate related to cardiovascular illnesses of all European countries. Telocytes might also prove helpful to regenerative medicine, as researchers discovered they provide the human heart and brain with the ability to regenerate. Previously, the liver was believed to be the only organ capable of going through this process.

The Romanian research team looks at three directions telocytes could work in. The first is the creation of a normal heart structure during the fetal and newborn phases. The second direction is repairing heart cells – a fundamental hope of humankind. If a way is found to stimulate these cells, medicine will very likely gain the ability to repair the effects of a myocardial infarction. A third use of these cells is in various pathological processes, such as arterial fibrillation, an affliction with severe negative effects on the heart, which is curable according to researchers.

Professor Popescu believes that “the key to this issue is finding a stimulator for telocytes. As comparative anatomy teaches us, there are species with a high capacity to regenerate, like the zebrafish or lizards – if you cut a piece off, it regenerates. What is not part of common knowledge is that if you cut a piece of the heart of a zebrafish or salamander, telocytes also regenerate. This is one lead.”

The cells were in existence but they had not been observed. Our scientists had been working on a certain type of cells in the human body and came across these cells. The importance of these cells is given by the fact that they act as the lieutenants of the stem cells and their action cannot be independent of the stem cells,” Popescu explained.

He mentioned that the Victor Babes scientists found the telocytes in the pancreas first and then in 15 other body organs. “These cells are located in interstitia, the areas between specialized cells,” said Popescu. He added that such cells are not used for medical purposes yet, but they could be the key to heart regeneration. Popescu said these cells are all the more important as each year 17.2 million people die from heart-related ailments and 80 percent of the victims are in developing countries or emerging economies.

Seen as the most notable post-war discovery in Romanian research, telocytes have been confirmed by independent teams from Italy, Germany, Great Britain and China, now in US too. General belief is that, together with stem cells, telocytes could work wonders, including for those suffering from malignant hematological afflictions.

This breakthrough calls for extensive studies, and it is estimated that only in 10 years will telocytes be available for use in hospitals.

The Victor Babes official said the institute is engaged in five projects – two worth 1.3 million euros each, two worth 4 million in all and one 1.5-million-euro project. The 2010 turnover of the Victor Babes Institute is put at 2.8 million euros derived from projects worth 2.5 million euros. The institute is also trying to win projects worth 9 million euros.

Professor Caius Traian Dragomir said in his turn that the migration abroad of Romanian doctors is the result of the economic crisis facing the country. “We are looking at the state of medical education, the migration of doctors and the under-funding of the health care system from an angle of scientific research and professional experience. In order to boost the educational level we will have to focus on accessing structural funds, because Romania is making doctors and medicine specialists not for the Romanian system only, but also for the entire Europe,” said Dragomir.

In his opinion, ethics classes should be introduced in the Romanian educational system and the state authorities should consult with medical academies when deciding on education development. Romania, he said, should find the ground that will secure the return of Romanian doctors who have migrated abroad.

Source: financiarul.ro

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