A new study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers has indicated that emotional stress promotes symptoms of a genetic disease that results in irregular heartbeats that can cause sudden death. The researchers studied mice modeling of the disease and established that stress tends to worsen the disease’s progression.
Good mental health helps avoid triggering symptoms of ARVC/D
In the study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the researchers argue that patients and physicians should focus on good mental health besides exercise avoidance to avoid triggering symptoms and keep patients healthy. Nazareno Paolocci research fellow Jacopo Agrimi said that there is a lot of evidence that the body and mind ate connect; therefore, one’s psychological state can alter the disease course. Agrimi, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of medicine, said that prolonged stress can trigger the symptoms of someone suffering from a chronic disease. Therefore, there is a need to ensure a patient’s psychological wellness and quality of life are considered when managing the disease.
After hearing anecdotal patients reports at a workshop held as part of the Johns Hopkins ARVC/D Program, the researchers conceived the study. The genetic heart condition called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) or arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a leading death cause among young athletes. Still, the condition can affect people of all ages and activity levels. ARVD/C is among the diseases modeled in the mice study.
Patients panic when their defibrillator charge
Adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University Stephen Chelko indicated that patients often panic when they hear their defibrillator charging. This is because of past experiences from the defibrillator discharge discomfort and pain. He said that, as a result, most people reported waking up after the shock and hearing the defibrillator charging lest the panicking creating vicious cycle. The patient’s stories led the researchers to survey the genetic diseases and ask patients about stress levels during annual follow-ups. They established that individuals with higher perceived psychosocial stress exhibited a strong correlation with clinical symptoms measured through electrocardiogram or cardiac magnetic resonance.