An artifical heart fit for humans
Weighing 900 grams a synthetic heart that is said to perfectly imitate the human one is due to be implanted in 22 volunteer adult patients in France. HEALTH examines the synthtic pump before crossing to India where in a bid to cut down on cost and risks involved in open heart surgery, they are keeping patients wide awake on the operating table.
Replacements for the human heart already exist but until now they were not able to adjust their rythyms to the patients needs, pumping slowly when at rest and more frequently when exercising for example. Now Professor Alain Carpentier and a team of scientists have developed a synthetic heart they say can do just that. The makers say it should have a nine year lifespan and last up to 6 hours on autonomy before needing to be recharged. The heart is powered by two small batteries the patient wears in a jacket and which connects from a portal just behind the ear.
From artifical hearts in France HEALTH crosses to India where patients are also testing new methods of heart transplants. With the need to cut down on costs and reduce risks, doctors have started to carry out heart operations wihtout a general anesthetic. The patient remaining awake helping doctors to immediately spot any problem during the operation.
Finally a report about new research which shows a possible additional benefit to the antidepressant, Prozac. Studies show that stroke patients who take Prozac regain greater control of their limbs as the medication helps the brain to regenerate neurons killed in the attack.