Medical scientists are studying "Broken Heart Syndrome," from Sunday's Washington Post Magazine:
Dr. Ilan Wittstein is a student of the heart. The son of a rabbi, he studied Sufi mysticism and jazz guitar in college along with molecular biology. Now he's a respected cardiologist at one of the world's leading centers of medical science, Johns Hopkins University.
Perusing bookstores off-hours, he's as likely to reach for a tome exploring the brain-wave patterns of meditating monks as he is a more conventional science text, he says. He doesn't think it's a waste of time when he reads that a Harvard neurologist has studied the phenomenon of voodoo deaths -- seemingly healthy people who drop dead after learning they've supposedly been hexed. He thinks that's very interesting...
This past February, just before Valentine's Day, the New England Journal of Medicine publishes the results of the Johns Hopkins research on broken heart syndrome. Ilan Wittstein and Hunter Champion are the lead authors.
The study -- titled "Neurohumoral Features of Myocardial Stunning Due to Sudden Emotional Stress" -- concludes that emotional stress can cause severe but reversible dysfunction of the heart muscle that mimics a heart attack.
Don't Go Breakin' My Heart - Mr. T Experience (mp3) from ...and the Women Who Love Them, Special Addition
Heartbreaker - Ray Charles (mp3) from The Essential Collection
Heartbreaker - Pat Benatar (mp3) from In the Heat of the Night