Study Reveals Why Heart Patients Suffer from Depression

Heart patients depressionIt has long been known that heart failure patients tend to have higher rates of depression and thinking problems, but it hasn’t been clear as to why this link exists. The latest research findings now shed some light on this association.

The latest study looked at how the body’s clock regulates cognition in mice and how certain parts of the brain become affected by heart failure. Researcher Tami Martino explained, “Neurosurgeons always look in the brain; cardiologists always look in the heart. This new study looked at both.”


Heart failure patients tend to experience cognitive impairment and depression, and Martino suspects the brain-heart connection is based in the body’s circadian clock, which follows the Earth’s 24-hour clock and uses light and darkness to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

For the study, the researchers looked at mice with a mutation in their circadian mechanism and found this mutation affected the structure of neurons in the brain responsible for cognition and mood.

After inducing heart failure in the mice, the researchers identified key genes in the brain that were altered in neural growth, stress, and metabolic pathways.

The researchers are hopeful that identifying the role of the circadian clock in depression and cognitive issues among heart failure patients may lend its way to possible new treatments to improve heart failure patient’s quality of life.

Martino suggests that patients should try to maintain healthy circadian rhythms to reduce cognitive issues and depression after heart failure. This can be done by avoiding shift work, reducing light exposure at night, avoiding social jet lag, and treat underlying sleep issues.

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Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.


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