Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revealing The Complex Patterns Of Cardiac Disease

Date:
June 4, 1999
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
In a paper published in Nature this week, scientists from Boston University's Center for Polymer Studies describe a new technique derived from modern physics that can help doctors distinguish between a healthy heart and one that is headed for trouble.

Multifractal analysis uncovers differences between healthy and unhealthy hearts

Related Articles


(Boston, Mass.) - In a paper published in Nature this week, scientists from Boston University's Center for Polymer Studies describe a new technique derived from modern physics that can help doctors distinguish between a healthy heart and one that is headed for trouble.

Led by Research Associates Plamen Christov Ivanov and Luis Amaral, the team analyzed the timing of heartbeats of both healthy and sick hearts, looking for fractal patterns - self-similar patterns composed of smaller copies of themselves. They found that healthy hearts exhibited complex multifractal properties, while the beat patterns of unhealthy hearts were monofractal and less varied.

The discovery of the multifractality of the healthy heart is important because current medical practice is to prescribe medication to eliminate variability for patients with irregular heartbeats. "This could be doing as much harm as good," says Professor H. Eugene Stanley, director of the Center for Polymer Studies. Monofractals occur commonly in nature and have long been observed in physiological systems. A fern, for example, is fractal because each frond is composed of sub-fronds, each a miniature, but not necessarily identical copy, of the whole.

Other systems, like the healthy human heart, are much more complex, with dynamic changes occurring periodically over time. An individual jumps up as the alarm rings, pushes the snooze button and dozes for ten minutes, jumps out of bed, downs a cup of coffee and dashes for the bus, then settles in for a slow ride downtown. Each activity results in a different heart rate and the overall system is better described by multifractals - a more complex system of fractals within fractals.

"We presume that the healthy behavior is richer and more complex because it represents the body's ability to adapt to change," says Ivanov. "The ability of the body to adapt to changes in the environment is crucial to survival." The researchers are now working with Mitsubishi of Japan to develop a small monitoring device that would alert the wearer if the heartbeat changes from a multifractal to monofractal pattern. They are also planning to apply this technique to other physiological systems, such as the breathing patterns of people with sleep apnea.

Further information can be found at http://polymer.bu.edu/~amaral/Heart.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Revealing The Complex Patterns Of Cardiac Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081236.htm>.
Boston University. (1999, June 4). Revealing The Complex Patterns Of Cardiac Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081236.htm
Boston University. "Revealing The Complex Patterns Of Cardiac Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081236.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins