Brain-Heart Axis: Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cardiovascular Disorders and Mental Health

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Physiology and Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (23 April 2024) | Viewed by 2531

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Department of Geriatrics, Neuroscience and Orthopedics, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome 00168, Italy
Interests: mental health; women's health; clinical trials; bipolar disorder; mood disorders translation science; cardiovascular disorders; neurobiology

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Department of Geriatrics, Neuroscience and Orthopedics, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome 00168, Italy
Interests: mood; anxiety; psychotic and personality disorders; cardiovascular disorders; clinical psychopharmacology; psychiatric emergencies; pregnancy; femicide; interpersonal violence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cellular, molecular, metabolic, and genetic aspects in cardiovascular disorders are intimately interconnected and open new pathophysiological, diagnostic, and therapeutic perspectives.

The link between mind and heart is characterized by a continuous and bidirectional exchange: a two-way communication on which the heart–brain axis is based. These are interconnected and interdependent entities, evident from the fact that pathological factors and conditions that affect one of these components can also affect the other.

The aim of this Special Issue is to stimulate knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which psychological factors, brain suffering and/or damage, epigenetic alterations, and gene mutations are associated with cardiovascular risk factors, predisposing patients to cardiovascular events. Furthermore, this multidisciplinary orientation could allow for more effective management of the clinical course of cardiovascular disease through a personalized therapeutic approach with a consequent reduction in terms of national health cost.

Dr. Giuseppe Marano
Dr. Marianna Mazza
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • brain–heart axis
  • molecular mechanisms
  • cardiovascular disorders
  • psychological factors

Published Papers (2 papers)

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12 pages, 795 KiB  
Article
Psychological Distress Affects Performance during Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation
by Marta Ricci, Gino Pozzi, Naike Caraglia, Daniela P. R. Chieffo, Daniela Polese and Leonarda Galiuto
Life 2024, 14(2), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14020236 - 8 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Background: It is known that psychosocial distress affects the morbidity and mortality of patients with cardiovascular disease of every age. The aim of this study was to produce novel information on how psychological distress can influence cardiovascular performance in patients after cardiac surgery [...] Read more.
Background: It is known that psychosocial distress affects the morbidity and mortality of patients with cardiovascular disease of every age. The aim of this study was to produce novel information on how psychological distress can influence cardiovascular performance in patients after cardiac surgery undergoing multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation. Methods: Patients (n = 57) admitted after cardiac surgery for valvular or coronary disease underwent, within 5 days of admission, the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) self-report questionnaire to measure psychiatric symptoms and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to assess the level of psychological distress. The Positive Symptom Distress Index (PSDI) was measured to indicate the amplitude of symptom distress. Cardiovascular performance was assessed by a 6 min walking test (6MWT) at admission and discharge, and oxygen consumption (VO2 max) was derived. Results: Within the SCL-90-R score, somatic symptoms (47.4%), depressive and anxiety symptoms (36.8% and 33.3%, respectively), symptoms of phobic anxiety (21.1%), and psychoticism (24.6%) were over-represented. As for the GHQ-12, 75.4% of the sample reported an abnormally negative perception of their health status. An inverse correlation was shown between the variation in 6MWT and SCL depression (p = 0.048), PSDI (p = 0.022), and the GHQ-12 (p = 0.040). Similarly, an inverse correlation was shown between the variation in the VO2 max, GHQ-12 (p = 0.041), and the PSDI (p = 0.023). Conclusions: Post-cardiac surgery cardiac rehabilitation was associated with increased symptoms of psychological discomfort, as compared with the general population. The amplitude of psychological distress, depression, and hostility are associated with limited improvement in performance. These data strengthen the need for psychological support during cardiac rehabilitation programs. Full article
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16 pages, 481 KiB  
Systematic Review
Brain–Heart Axis: Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Cardiovascular Disease—A Review of Systematic Reviews
by Massimo Fioranelli, Maria Luisa Garo, Maria Grazia Roccia, Bianca Prizbelek and Francesca Romana Sconci
Life 2023, 13(12), 2252; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13122252 - 25 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Background: The brain–heart axis is an intra- and bidirectional complex that links central nervous system dysfunction and cardiac dysfunction. In recent decades, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as a strategic molecule involved in both brain and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This systematic review [...] Read more.
Background: The brain–heart axis is an intra- and bidirectional complex that links central nervous system dysfunction and cardiac dysfunction. In recent decades, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as a strategic molecule involved in both brain and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This systematic review of systematic reviews aimed to (1) identify and summarize the evidence for the BDNF genotype and BDNF concentration in CVD risk assessment, (2) evaluate the evidence for the use of BDNF as a biomarker of CVD recovery, and (3) evaluate rehabilitation approaches that can restore BDNF concentration. Methods: A comprehensive search strategy was developed using PRISMA. The risk of bias was assessed via ROBIS. Results: Seven studies were identified, most of which aimed to evaluate the role of BDNF in stroke patients. Only two systematic reviews examined the association of BDNF concentration and polymorphism in CVDs other than stroke. Conclusions: The overall evidence showed that BDNF plays a fundamental role in assessing the risk of CVD occurrence, because lower BDNF concentrations and rs6265 polymorphism are often associated with CVD. Nevertheless, much work remains to be carried out in current research to investigate how BDNF is modulated in different cardiovascular diseases and in different populations. Full article
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