#21: 🫀Heart Disease & The Quest For A Cure
Understanding heart disease and future treatments
💬 In this note:
🫀 Heart Disease & The Quest For A Cure
🐸 The Powerful 20-Minute Journey with 5-MeO-DMT
🫀 Heart Disease & The Quest For A Cure
Heart disease is a leading cause of death globally.
One of the most common types of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to the heart. This can cause a heart attack when the heart tissue becomes damaged due to decreased blood flow. This informative short video from the National Health Services in the UK helped me understand how the arteries become blocked and how this leads to a heart attack.
To reduce the risk of heart disease, lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, being physically active, quitting smoking, and controlling blood cholesterol and sugar levels are recommended. Keeping your heart healthy will also have other health benefits, such as helping to reduce your risk of stroke and dementia.
If heart disease is the #1 killer in the world, why don’t we have an artificial heart yet?
“Nothing shows more clearly the perfect engineering of the heart than our own failed attempts to imitate it”
Despite advances in heart surgeries like transplantation, the demand for an artificial heart remains clear. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 100,000 patients could benefit immediately from a ventricular assist device (VAD) or total artificial heart (TAH). The TAH is an option for patients with heart failure, which has a poor prognosis. Although heart transplant meets their needs, only 4000 donor hearts are available globally each year.
The AESON© Carmat TAH consists of three parts: (1) the implanted prostheses, (2) external equipment (weighing 4kgs / 8.8lbs), and (3) the hospital care console (HCC) (image below).
The AESON©, Carmat's TAH, is currently being used exclusively within clinical trials in the USA, acting as a bridge for patients while they wait for a heart transplant.
Looking at the schematic above and all the parts required to operate an artificial heart really makes one appreciate the natural engineering of the heart, and hopefully encourages you to keep your heart healthy and protect the life of this incredible organ.
Who else is working on treatments and diagnostics for heart disease?
1️⃣ Ablative Solutions: Ablative Solutions is a medical device startup that is developing a minimally invasive system to treat hypertension and atherosclerosis. The company's device uses radiofrequency ablation to treat the nerves that control blood pressure and improve blood flow.
2️⃣ Vista AI: Vista AI is a medical imaging startup that is developing a software platform to improve the accuracy and efficiency of cardiovascular imaging. The company's technology uses artificial intelligence to create high-quality 3D images of the heart and arteries, which can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis. This allows doctors to accurately diagnose and treat heart disease without requiring an invasive procedure or exposing a patient to radiation, which is the current diagnostic gold standard in an angiogram.
3️⃣ Cala Health: Cala Health is a digital health startup that is developing a wearable device to treat hypertension. The device uses electrical stimulation to target the nerves that control blood pressure. Their first product, Cala Trio, is a breakthrough individualized therapy for hand tremors in people with essential tremors. Their new therapies for neurology, cardiology and psychiatry are in development.
🐸 Unlocking Transformation: The Powerful 20-Minute Journey with 5-MeO-DMT
5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a potent psychedelic compound found in the secretion from the parotid glands of the Bufo alvarius toad, native to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. In Tucson, it is common knowledge to keep your dog far away from these toads, which like to come out in the rainy season, because their poison is potent enough to kill an adult dog.
However in humans, This psychoactive substance can induce a powerful 15-20 minute psychedelic experience when it is collected, dried, and smoked.
5-MeO-DMT produces a psychedelic experience completely different from all other classic psychedelic compounds, as described by Dr. Chris Timmermann a psychedelic researcher from Imperial College London:
“What makes 5-MeO-DMT truly unique is its apparent ability to induce states of ego dissolution in such a reliable fashion. The structure of the experience is fundamentally altered compared to other psychedelics – which usually provide a very rich visual experience. With ‘5-MeO’, users apparently experience a ‘white light’ that is closely associated with the ego-death experience. It is that ego-death experience that appears to have a radical impact on the user, especially in the case of addiction.”
A collaborative study in the Netherlands and Czech Republic reported sustained enhancement of satisfaction with life, mindfulness-related capacities, and a decrease in psychopathological symptoms after a single inhalation of vapor from dried toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT in a naturalistic setting.
5-MeO-DMT is not scheduled as a controlled substance in many countries. Its legality and therapeutic potential make it an intriguing area for future research. Due to the lack of regulation surrounding 5-MeO-DMT, treatment centers have popped up charging between $250 to $8500 for a treatment.
The rise in popularity of the drug has been damaging for the Sonoran Desert Toad. Robert Anthony Villa, president of the Tucson herpetological society, voices that although the toad seems comfortable in man-made constructions to farm 5-MeO-DMT, the toad can become stressed out to produce its venom on demand. Additionally, the wild toads are often poached to produce its poison.
If you want to help Protect the Sonoran Desert Toad, you can buy stickers and t-shirts (I have one!) from Cream Printing Company in Tucson, Arizona. A portion of proceeds from all items in this collection are donated to the Tucson Herpetological Society. Please trip responsibly.
📚 Book of the Week
Intensity: A Novel by Dean Koontz
Chyna Shepard is trapped in a house with a self-proclaimed ‘homicidal adventurer” Edgler Foreman Vess. Fierce and determined to get out alive, she’s on a mission to prevent the murder of more victims.
I definitely should not have started reading this book the day I moved into a new apartment. Lock. all. the. doors.
⚡️ Check This Out
The latest Huberman Lab with Dr. Sara Gottfried: How to Optimize Female Hormone Health for Vitality & Longevity.
While this episode focuses mainly on female hormones, males will also benefit from a listen because it includes tips for managing stress, supporting the gut microbiome and immunity.
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