Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Broken hearts are not just a cheap cliché used to write pop songs, there is actually some science behind this much-romanticized phenomenon. And it's not limited to humans either. Doctors in Texas have written a case report about Joanie Simpson, a 61-year-old woman who suffered from “broken-heart syndrome” following the death of her dog.
As explained in The New England Journal of Medicine, the grief-stricken woman was rushed to the emergency room after a sudden onset of chest pain and high blood pressure. At first, it looked like she might be having a heart attack. However, a coronary angiography X-ray revealed that her coronary arteries were in good shape. The doctors then followed up with an echocardiography, which revealed the typical signs of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, better known as broken-heart syndrome.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy occurs when your heart muscle becomes suddenly weakened. The word “Takotsubo” means “octopus trap” in Japanese, as the left ventricle of the heart changes into the shape of a bulging pot with a narrow neck, much like the pots traditionally used to capture octopus.