Healing heart:

Science is reinforcing the poets and songwriters in this season of love, announcing in prestigious journals that the heart can break and the heart can mend. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, writing in The New England Journal of Medicine last week, reported on what they have dubbed ‘’broken heart syndrome.”

That jolt can temporarily stun the heart of an otherwise healthy person, causing it to pump more slowly. While often confused with a heart attack, the malady causes no permanent damage. No matter how piercing the initial pain, the angst of a broken heart does heal. There may be new growth, too. Writing in last week’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, announced the discovery of cardiac progenitor cells, which can create heart muscle cells. The happy lover celebrating this St Valentine’s Day, secure in a comfortable relationship, might look back on all the unworkable liaisons that led to a better understanding of his or her heart. The emotions are most likely no longer in hurricane mode, for the brain and soul have tempered what can be a blind and willful pilot.

The happy lover is “heart healthy,” as the phrase goes on the cereal boxes, and maybe ‘’heart smart,” balancing past and present, lab coats and Cupid, loss and renewal, and whispering to wisdom: Be Mine! — The Boston Globe