Exploring Novel Biomarkers in the Heart-Brain Axis using Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain conditions, such as cognitive impairments will be found in patients with heart failure 40%-70% of the time. Both these conditions share common risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension. These cause concern for further disease progressions such as inflammation, microvascular dysfunction and organ impairment or motility as well as the patients ability of self-care, the consistency of medication intake and increase of hospitalization. Often, they are treated separately despite the overlap in the biological basis (microvascular dysfunction) and the disease progression. Both conditions would strongly benefit from preventative strategies such as aggressive risk factor modification and exercise. BHRIITE works to develop common risk predictors, validated tools for better diagnosis and the stages of the disease progression. Using associations between brain and heart conditions could greatly improve patient centered care. The objective is to develop an efficient and effective method of using MRI and fMRI to identify shared biomarkers between heart and brain conditions, identify an association between microvascular and structural abnormalities and finally, creating a combined assessment of the heart and the brain.