According to scientists, extreme emotional stress triggers a storm in the immune system which overwhelms the organ.
A new research saw scientists discovering why losing a beloved really may break one’s heart.
A MailOnline article cites that according to researchers, extreme emotional stress triggers a ‘storm’ inside the immune system which may overwhelm the heart.
The condition, known as ‘broken heart syndrome’ occurs when acute tension or distress causes the heart muscles to shut down temporarily.
Notably, most cases are caused by sudden emotional shocks, often involving death or breakdown of relationships.
Broken heart syndrome, whose official nomenclature in Takotsubo syndrome, includes shortness of breath and chest pain - and as such it is often mistaken for a heart attack.
However, unlike a heart attack, patients do not suffer from a blockage of the arteries that supply the heart with blood.
However, there is a temporary weakening of the heart muscle and the left ventricle which disallows it to properly push blood around the body.
Scientists first discovered the condition in Japan 30 years ago. However, until now experts have been unsure what exactly caused this to happen.
The new research, by experts at the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, reveals that the heart is attacked by the body's own immune system.
The study, published in the Circulation medical journal, also showed that signs of the attack were still present five months later, which explains why some people remain unwell for a long time.
The researchers examined 55 patients with acute Takotsubo syndrome using sophisticated MRI scans and found signs of a severe inflammatory immune response in the hearts of those with broken heart syndrome.
According to lead researcher professor Dana Dawson, they found that broken heart syndrome triggers a storm in the immune system which results in acute inflammation in the heart muscle.
The team believes their discovery may eventually pave the way for anti-inflammatory treatments to help treat the problem.