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HEART There's more to a broken heart than a songwriter's cliché. Stress cardiomyopathy, sometimes known as the "broken heart syndrome," is associated with the loss of a loved one and often mistaken for a classic heart attack. But researchers at Johns Hopkins studying a group of mostly female patients discovered that the syndrome is caused by a surge of adrenaline and other stress hormones that temporarily stuns the heart muscle. There is no permanent damage to the heart, however, and patients usually show dramatic improvement in a few days and complete recovery within two weeks.