Tag Archives: Yale School of Medicine

Anger Alert for Heart

Episodes of anger may lead to potentially lethal abnormal heart rhythms in patients with heart disease and those who are survivors of heart attacks, a medical study has suggested.

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The study by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine in the US is the first to show how emotion triggers a distinct pattern of electrical activity that contributes to arrhythmias — abnormal heart rhythms.

The researchers who monitored a group of 62 patients found that those with high levels of anger-induced electrical cardiac activity called T-wave alternans were more likely to experience arrhythmias than patients with low levels of this electrical activity.

Anger appeared to increase the risk of arrythmias by up to 10 times. The findings will appear shortly in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Our study identified individuals vulnerable to increased electrical instability due to emotion,” said Rachel Lampert, associate professor of medicine at Yale who has been exploring how mental stress can disturb heart rhythms.

The researchers studied patients with heart problems who had implantable cardioverter-defibrillators — small, battery-powered devices in the chest from where they constantly monitor the heart rate and rhythm.

When the device detects abnormal heart rhythms, it delivers an electrical shock to the heart muscle to stop the arrhythmia and return the heart to its normal rhythm.

The study examined incidence of arrhythmias over three years and found that patients with arrhythmias had higher T-wave alternans induced by anger than patients who had not experienced arrhythmias.

Arrhythmias of concern are rare in healthy people. “The implications of our findings are for the increasing number of people who have survived a heart attack or are living with heart failure,” Lampert told The Telegraph.

Cardiologists believe it is important to identify patients who are at risk of developing life-threatening arrhythmias. The results suggest that therapy to help patients deal with anger and other negative emotions may reduce arrhythmias, said Lampert.

Sources:
The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Sleepless Night Can Trigger Disorders

Just one sleepless night can trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation, a new study has found.

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During the study, the researchers measured the levels of nuclear factor (NF)-?B, a transcription factor that serves a vital role in the body’s inflammatory signalling, in adults.

These measurements were repeatedly assessed, including in the morning after baseline (or normal) sleep, after partial sleep deprivation (where the volunteers were awake from 11 pm to 3:00 am), and after recovery sleep.

The assessment showed that in the morning after sleep loss, activation of NF-?B signalling was significantly greater than after baseline or recovery sleep, although they found this increase in inflammatory response in only the female subjects.

The researchers said that the new findings suggest a good night’s sleep can ease the risk of both heart disease and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

“The closer that we look at sleep, the more that we learn about the benefits of sleeping. In this case, Irwin and colleagues provide evidence that sleep deprivation is associated with enhancement of pro-inflammatory processes in the body,” said John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

“Our findings suggest even modest sleep loss may play a role in common disorders that affect sweeping segments of the population.” In other words, sleep is vitally important to maintaining a healthy body,” said Dr. Irwin, lead author and director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the Semel Institute.

“These findings provide a potential mechanistic avenue through which addressing sleep disturbance might improve health,” Krystal added.

A report appears in the September 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Sources: The Times Of India

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