My father would come home from work and pick me up and ask me, “What did you learn today?” I was a child. I was processing, like, a million new things every day. And I had to pick one. And explain it slowly and methodically. OMG. Annoying. But habit-forming. The man created in me a perpetual student.
So, Dad, today I learned that the human heart cannot regenerate, unlike other organs, or like the hearts of other animals. If our heart is injured – by heart attack, trauma, infection, inflammation – it doesn’t make a comeback. It doesn’t replace those dead cardiac muscle cells with new ones.
Heart failure is the most common cause of death worldwide. The main reason for this is that damage to the human heart causes cardiac muscle cells to die, which in turn leads to reduced heart function and death.
The ability of most cardiac muscle cells to reproduce disappears in humans and all other mammals shortly after birth.