Giving theheart a hand

Published: Friday 15 October 1993

SWEDISH doctors have developed a painkilling device that can be implanted into the spine to relieve patients suffering from angina pectoris -- pain in the chest brought on by exertion and caused by inadequate blood supply to the heart.

Clas Mannheimer and his team from Gothenburg claim the device enables patients to undergo more exercise before chest pain occurs and also to recover faster from it. Though the doctors are not sure how stimulating the spine with the device can help the heart, they believe it may increase blood flow to the heart, decrease oxygen consumption and consequently inhibit angina pains.

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