AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin doctors are doing new research using adult stem cells to help people with blocked arteries in their legs. The condition is known as peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. Eleven million people in the world have it, and many of them are diabetics.
When the arteries in the legs become blocked with plaque, the blood flow is lost to the feet, and amputation is often the last resort.
Austin interventional cardiologists are harvesting a patient's own stem cells from bone marrow in the hip and injecting them back into the leg in hopes of new arteries forming.
"It's mainly these arteries below the knee," said interventional cardiologist Dr. Roger Gammon of Austin Heart . "All three of them get completely gone. You can't even see them on an angiogram. So what the stem cells appear to do is help you grow new blood vessels around this. It's something called angiogenesis."
Gammon is the director of research at Austin Heart He is looking for patients who want to take part in the trial right now at the Heart Hospital of Austin . Call 877-788-3972 for more information.
Stem Cell Symposium
Gammon will be one of the moderators at a big Stem Cell Symposium Friday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on The University of Texas campus. It is hosted by Texans For Stem Cell Research .
Researchers from all over the world will be on hand to talk about the newest trends in stem cell research.
One of the speakers includes Roman Reed , a former college football player who was injured during a tackle, a vertebra in his neck crushed.
Dr. Ken Shine, executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the UT Health System, is a special guest who will give the Welcome Address at 8:15 a.m.
Registration and arrival at the AT&T center starts at 7 a.m. The symposium is free and open to the public and runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a break for lunch at 1 p.m.
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