Stress That Can Save Your Life

TableMountain_EN-US2081400154Can the body’s natural response to stress be harnessed to combat heart failure? The results of a study published online in the June issue of the journal Circulation Research appear to support this hypothesis. Scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that two experimental drugs have the potential to restore pumping strength to failing hearts in part by harnessing the fight-or-flight response that makes the heart beat stronger. At the center of this finding is the excitatory hormone adrenalin, which normally maintains the heart’s pumping strength and stimulates the heart to beat with greater force during a stress crisis. The newly identified drugs ensure that adrenalin’s ability to increase heartbeat strength is maintained, and not thwarted, as it is typical in heart failure patients.