Brain changes linked to emotion ‘found in people with broken heart syndrome’

Changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion have been identified in people with “broken heart syndrome” 

Takotsubo syndrome, as it is formally called, is a sudden form of acute heart failure which is estimated to affect as many as 5,000 people 

It can cause the same symptoms as a heart attack, and although the arteries leading to the heart are not blocked 

It is not yet fully understood what causes the condition, but it is usually brought on by emotional or physical stress 

For the first time we’ve revealed changes in the brain regions that are responsible for controlling the heart and emotions 

They used brain MRI scans to measure brain volume, surface area, and the signals of communication between different areas of the brain 

These results were then compared with control patients who were matched for age, gender, and other medical conditions