Human heart has a mind of its own, scientists say
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Mohammad Al-Jalawi honors professor Paul J. Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress, at the King of Organs 2010 conference in Al-Hasa on Wednesday. In the center is conference founder Dr. Abdullah A. Abdulgader. (AN photo by Saleh Al-Battat)
By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS
Published: Sep 29, 2010 23:16 Updated: Sep 29, 2010 23:36
AL-HASA: If you don’t think that the human heart has the capacity to think, think again. At least that is what leading cardiologists who are gathered in Al-Hasa for an international conference on cardiac sciences are saying.
“There is a brain within our hearts,” said Dr. Abdullah A. Abdulgader, director of the Prince Sultan Cardiac Center in Al-Hasa. “This might come as a pleasant surprise to many, but here is a fact proven by the world’s widely recognized heart specialists.”
Abdulgader quoted two leading names in the field, Dr. Rollin McCraty of California’s HeartMath Institute and Jeffrey Ardell, professor of pharmacology and vice chair for research at the Quillen College of Medicine in Tennessee.
Abdulgader said they presented their research on Wednesday while delivering their papers at the conference. “What they have revealed is that there are neurons in our heart similar to the ones in our brain, and the existence of neurons in our heart has led to the creation of a whole new area called neurocardiology,” he said.
“In Arabic this concept is being called ‘al-muqh al-qalbi.’ This is not hearsay. This has been proved though scientific experiments in the lab. These neurons are real. We have done this in histology and these neurons of the heart are something you can touch and see.”
Abdulgader said there are thousands and thousands of neurons in our heart. “The new research will have far-reaching results. So far, it was believed that the heart is nothing but a pumping machine that purifies blood. All focus of the scientific community was on the mind. That will change with new research. This indicates that heart is the key organ and not the brain.”
He said people in earlier eras believed that the spirit and the soul of a person was in the heart, but in the absence of any empirical data this could not be accepted by the scientific community. “Now we know that because of these neurons our heart has a capacity to think. These neurons are like a wire that is connected to the brain. Studies indicate that some of these neurons are going directly to the brain without any intermediary. They are going from very important sites in the heart to very strategic locations in the brain,” Abdulgader said.
So the new research again proves what was presented during the second day of the conference. “That a person should not be taken off a ventilator until and unless the heart stops beating.”
If the experts are right, the next time someone says he is speaking from the heart, perhaps you should take it literally instead of figuratively.
“These neurons are giving orders to the brain, which then leads to personality development and decision making,” Abdulgader said. “What has also been revealed is that the heart is sending more signals to the brain than vice versa. So you know who is the leader in our body.”