Purpose of the Workhop

Research, both clinical-epidemiological and experimental on humans and animals, has broadly revealed a link between psychological factors and cardiovascular dysfunctional states.

Acute and chronic life stressors, psychological alterations such as anxiety and depression, personality traits such as anger and hostility, reactive behavioral coping strategies, as well as the absence of social support have all been shown to interfere with and modulate the onset and progression of cardiovascular alterations. These psychological elements, in many instances, appear to be independent risk factors of disease, as important as traditional ones such as cholesterol levels, waist fat, body mass index and poor physical activity.

Recently developed research approaches have shed light on the brain substrates, genetic and epigenetic factors, as well as cellular/molecular mechanisms that underlie the tight and complex relationship between stress, behavior and the cardiovascular system.

However, despite a growing number of empirical investigations and accumulating clinical evidence, still several issues remaIn to be clarified about the mechanisms linking stressful exposures, psychological traits, behavioral coping styles and cardiovascular risk profiles.

This workshop will present the newest scientific evidence in the multidisciplinary arena intersecting stress, behavior and the cardiovascular system. It will gather leading scientists from a variety of disciplines (neuroscience, physiology, cardiology, pharmacology, psychology) who share a common interest in the complex interactions between the mind and the heart.

Sessions will cover the following topics:

  1. Stress, behavior and cardiovascular disease in humans
  2. Animal models of central neural regulation of cardiovascular stress response
  3. Coping with stressors: neuroendocrine and autonomic mediators
  4. Animal models of psychological-cardiovascular comorbidity
  5. Epigenetics of stress and cardiovascular dysfunction
  6. Heart and behavior: the female side of the coin