Patients related to heart diseases often experience difficulty in thinking and likely suffer depression, a new study explains. The study published in the Journal ‘Scientific Reports’, also points out prevention for the same.

“Neurosurgeons always look in the brain; cardiologists always look in the heart. This new study looked at both,” said Martino, working in the field of circadian medicine.

This study is first of its kind done on mice that test how cognition and mood are regulated by body clock and how pertinent brain regions are impaired in heart failure.

“Human patients with heart failure often have neurological conditions such as cognitive impairment and depression,” said Martino.

For this new study, the researchers compared normal mice with mice carrying a mutation in their circadian mechanism (called “clock mice”). They found that the mutation affected the structure of neurons in brain areas important for cognition and mood.

The results show that the circadian mechanism influences neural effects of heart failure, said Martino. Pointing out that no cure exists for the heart condition; she said understanding how the circadian mechanism works in the brain may lead to new strategies to improve patients’ quality of life.

“If we’re not yet able to cure heart failure, we should at least be focusing on how we can improve quality of life for patients,” added Martino.