UCL News


Press cutting: Can you die of a broken heart?

11 April 2007

It seems you can indeed die of a broken heart.

'Proceedings' reports on research by a group of British scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL and the Brighton & Sussex Medical School. The team discovered that the "higher regions" of the brain, used for learning, memory and emotion, can destabilise the cardiac muscle of someone who already has heart disease; in times of stress, such as loss of a loved one, this can result in harmful rhythms in the heart.

It has long been believed that there might be a link between emotional trauma and heart attacks, but it had been thought that more primitive regions such as the brain stem sent messages to heart tissue. …

Laura Barton, 'The Guardian'