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Surprising Science

The Mind-Heart Connection

For poets and philosophers through the ages, the mind and heart have been fellow travelers. Now medical researchers are putting the dark bond between the two under a microscope.

Nearly 25 years of research has drawn a clear connecting line between depression and heart disease, making the link Exhibit A in the modern compendium of mind-body connections. But that research has yet to explain the connection. And it has yet to convince many cardiologists that depression care could be a tool in preventing and treating heart disease. “That you can die of a broken heart isn’t a new idea. But unfortunately, the idea is much more complex than any of us expected,” says Dr. Alexander Glassman, a psychiatrist with the New York Psychiatric Institute. Complex, yes. But the bond between heart disease and depression is also undeniable.


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