Sandeep Jauhar: How your emotions change the shape of your heart
Sandeep Jauhar is a practicing cardiologist passionate about communicating medicine in all its glorious, quirky, inescapable humanity. Full bio
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and meaning as the human heart.
of our emotional lives.
to be the seat of the soul,
from the French verb "émouvoir,"
that emotions would be linked to an organ
that this link is very real.
physical effect on the human heart.
the metaphorical heart.
endures even today.
they most associate with love,
heart would the top the list.
flowers and seeds of many plants,
in the Middle Ages
the heart became associated
of lovers in the 13th century.
came to be colored red,
as the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
and emitting ethereal light,
and love has withstood modernity.
with end-stage heart failure,
artificial heart in Utah in 1982,
reportedly asked the doctors,
is not the source of love
we have come to understand
and the emotions is a highly intimate one.
can cause profound cardiac injury.
processes such as the heartbeat
sensitive to our emotional system,
first recognized about two decades ago
or "the broken heart syndrome,"
in response to intense stress or grief,
or the death of a loved one.
the grieving heart in the middle
than the normal heart on the left.
the distinctive shape of a takotsubo,
and a narrow neck.
within a few weeks.
of an elderly patient of mine
he'd had dementia.
she looked at his picture
and with it, came shortness of breath,
as she was sitting up in a chair --
what we already suspected:
to less than half its normal capacity
the distinctive shape of a takotsubo.
had returned to normal
to many stressful situations,
with widespread social upheaval,
on the largest island in Japan.
and thousands were injured.
of takotsubo cardiomyopathy
one month after the earthquake,
period the year before.
the intensity of the tremor.
patients lived near the epicenter.
has been seen after a happy event, too,
to react differently,
for example, and not at the apex.
would result in different cardiac changes
to our ancient philosophers,
are not contained inside our hearts,
experiencing intense emotional disturbance
published a paper called "'Voodoo' Death,"
cases of death from fright
they had been cursed,
or as a consequence of eating taboo fruit.
dropped dead on the spot.
was the victim's absolute belief
that could cause their demise,
they were powerless to fight.
constricted to such a degree
from a lack of transported oxygen.
or "primitive" people.
have been shown to occur
in spouses and in siblings.
and figuratively deadly.
even for animals.
published in the journal "Science,"
a high-cholesterol diet
on cardiovascular disease.
developed a lot more disease than others,
environment and genetic makeup.
something to do with
interacted with the rabbits.
a high-cholesterol diet.
were removed from their cages,
the rabbits remained in their cages
that the rabbits in the first group,
than rabbits in the other group,
blood pressure and heart rate.
less the province of philosophers,
that even a century ago,
status in human culture,
has been transformed
imbued with metaphor and meaning
manipulated and controlled.
by attention to the emotional life
was believed to contain.
the Lifestyle Heart Trial,
"The Lancet" in 1990.
or severe coronary disease
that included a low-fat vegetarian diet,
that the lifestyle patients
in coronary plaque.
coronary plaque at one year
the rate of cardiac events,
coronary bypass surgery
adopted diet and exercise plans
as those in the intensive lifestyle group.
to facilitate coronary disease regression.
was more strongly correlated
studies are small,
does not prove causation.
leads to unhealthy habits,
for the increased cardiovascular risk.
of smoking and lung cancer,
to explain a causal relationship,
that one probably exists.
is what I, too, have learned
as a heart specialist:
with its biological counterpart
to conceptualize the heart as a machine.
has had great benefits.
scientific success stories
coronary bypass surgery,
or invented after World War II.
of what scientific medicine can do
of cardiovascular mortality
in the past decade.
to which we have become accustomed.
will need to be front and center
that is largely unexplored.
still does not list emotional stress
for heart disease,
is so much easier to lower
we say "a broken heart,"
about a real broken heart.
the power and importance of the emotions
ABOUT THE SPEAKERSandeep Jauhar - Physician, writer
Sandeep Jauhar is a practicing cardiologist passionate about communicating medicine in all its glorious, quirky, inescapable humanity.
Why you should listen
In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar writes about medicine and its impacts on culture for a wide-ranging audience. He is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and has written three best-selling books.
His most recent book, Heart: A History (a finalist for the 2019 Wellcome Book prize), tells the little-known story of the doctors who risked their careers -- and the patients who risked their lives -- to understand our most vital organ. Weaving his own experiences with the defining discoveries of the past, Jauhar braids tales of breakthrough, hubris and sorrow to create a lucid chronicle of our life's most intimate chamber. The book also confronts the limits of medical technology, arguing that future progress will be determined more by how we choose to live rather than by any device we invent. Indeed, as the book explains, our emotional lives are absolutely key to our heart health. Jauhar is the Director of the Heart Failure Program at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Sandeep Jauhar | Speaker | TED.com