The Heart-Brain Connection: The Link between LQTS and Seizures

brain and heart interactions concept best teamwork

In a study published this week in Neurology, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center lay the ~ation of a clear association between the inner part and the brain in patients through a rare cardiac disease called Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). Patients carrying LQTS genetic mutations were three seasons more likely to have experienced seizures in their after , compared to their family members who did not involve any LQTS mutations. Interestingly, LQTS patients who had a narrative of seizures also tended to accept worse cardiac symptoms with about 20% having survived at smallest one lethal cardiac arrhythmia in their life.

Lead first cause, David Auerbach, Ph.D., senior preceptor of Medicine in the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of Rochester Medical Center, regulate a new clinical precedence for the connective between seizures and LQTS with this study. He believes this provides a capsule for doctors to pay more politeness to what is happening in LQTS patients’ mind or, more broadly, to “look outside the classic organ of interest” in any disease.

As a postdoctoral fellow, Auerbach premeditated the heart-brain connection in a austere genetic form of epilepsy, and found that cardiac arrhythmias were one mainspring of sudden unexplained death in vulgar herd with epilepsy. When he came to URMC, he began investigating the hold a conversation – whether a genetic heart put out of place was also associated with issues in the brain.

David Auerbach, PhD

In a KL2 Career Development purpose funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at URMC, Auerbach abroach into the Rochester-based LQTS Patient Registry to make ~ this question. This unique resource was developed 40 years gone by the senior author of the study, Arthur Moss, M.D., Bradford C. Berk, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at URMC. The registry contains denunciation about more than 18,000 canaille including LQTS patients and their unnatural and unaffected family members, who prepare a nearly ideal group of controls. “In quint~, they have the same genetic makeup, reject theoretically, the LQTS-causing mutation,” says Auerbach.

Auerbach and his colleagues lay the ~ation of that patients with the three separate types of LQTS (LQTS1-3) showed resembling heart rhythm symptoms, but vastly not the same prevalence of seizures. LQTS1 and LQTS2 patients had much higher prevalence of seizures than LQTS3 or no mutation – with LQTS2 at the greatest jeopardize.

Further investigation of the LQTS-causing alteration showed that the specific location of the change greatly affected the risk of cordial arrhythmias and seizures.  In single in kind location on the gene, the change protected against these symptoms, but in a different location on the same gene, the alteration increased the risk of those symptoms. Understanding which each of these mutations does may emit new light on a basic mechanical construction of seizures and may inform LQTS treatments in the subsequent time.

To read the full study, clink here.


This study involved a multi-disciplinary, collaborative essay of authors from the Departments of Medicine-Heart Research, Medicine-Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, Neurology, and Pharmacology/Physiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The University of Rochester Medical Center is home to about 3,000 individuals who conduct exploration on everything from cancer and heart disease to Parkinson’s, pandemic influenza, and autism. Spread over many centers, institutes, and labs, our scientists require developed therapies that have improved human health locally, in the region, and thwart the globe. To learn more, visit

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