London: Acute stress on the heart due to bereavement could make the aggrieved die from a broken heart, scientists said.
A British team found that sections in the brain in charge of memory, learning and emotion can upset the cardiac muscle in people who are grieving. They say that important regions in the brain get caught up in a negative loop which could cause heart rhythms to go awry.
This study is perhaps the first insightful study portraying the effects of stress due to bereavement on the heart. The stress could spark off irregular heart rhythms, leading to sudden cardiac death.
In the words of the researchers, "We know that stress can increase the risk of sudden death through cardiac arrest and that the brain areas responsible for regulating heart function can be unbalanced by stress. Our research suggests that the cerebral cortex may play a significant role in these events by becoming involved in a vicious circle."