Richard D. Lane, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, has been awarded a more than $3 million four-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Lane's core academic interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which emotion contributes to the progression of physical disease. His grant, "Typical Daily Emotion, Ischemia and Repolarization in Coronary Artery Disease," is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
As the leading cause of death in the Western world, sudden cardiac death has major health significance. Current evidence suggests that about 20% of sudden cardiac deaths are related to emotion. However, Dr. Lane's past research raises the possibility that typical daily emotion, not just unusually intense emotion, contributes to sudden cardiac death. This is important since the majority of emotional experiences in daily life are of low intensity.
Sudden cardiac death occurs most commonly in the context of coronary artery disease. Therefore, it is important to determine whether typical daily emotion is associated with changes in heart function in patients with coronary artery disease.
Dr. Lane will work with colleagues at the University of Arizona and University of Rochester to recruit subjects from Tucson, AZ and Rochester, NY for this study.
If it is discovered that typical daily emotions are associated with changes in heart function in patients with coronary artery disease, it will advance understanding of the role of emotion in sudden cardiac death with important clinical implications.
For example, it will be important to define which emotions induce favorable or unfavorable effects. The latter could provide a new indication for established treatments such as beta-blocker medication. New indications for behavioral interventions, such as learning to enhance positive emotion, could also be taught to patients with or at risk for coronary artery disease to potentially reduce their risk for sudden cardiac death.
Congratulations, Dr. Lane!