What we do
About our project
The Heart-Brain Connection (HBC) is a multicenter study that aims to investigate the hypothesis that impaired hemodynamic status of both heart and brain is an important cause of vascular cognitive impairment offering promising opportunities for treatment. A wide range of imaging and non-imaging parameters of cardiovascular, hemodynamic, and cognitive functioning is assessed in patients with vascular cognitive impairment, heart failure, carotid occlusion disease, and healthy controls. More information on the study can be found here: http://www.heart-brain.nl/.
Data for the Heart-Brain Connection study are centrally stored in platforms hosted by Health-RI. XNAT is used for storing imaging data (heart and brain MRI scans) and OpenClinica for storing non-imaging data (clinical and cognitive parameters). Imaging data are processed by researchers at LUMC and Erasmus MC to extract parameters of heart and brain structure and function. Image processing results are centrally stored on XNAT next to the raw image data. The researchers implemented a quality assessment protocol to ensure consistency between the data stored in the two platforms.
Our research focus
Image analysis platform
Our team developed an image analysis platform that is used in multi-center imaging studies, such as HBC, and in large population-based studies. This platform consists of facilities for storing image data, a flexible platform for running analysis pipelines on these images to produce imaging biomarkers, and a viewer to inspect intermediate and final results (see figure). More details are provided at: https://www.bbmri.nl/services/research-tools/image-analysis-platform
The second phase of the project, Heart Brain Connection Crossroads (HBCx), started in September 2019. In this phase we will maintain and update the image analysis platform for several related studies. In addition, we aim to develop markers of brain injury and prognostic tools for vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) based on volumetric and vascular brain MRI by using an innovative approach based on advanced data-driven machine learning techniques.
Funds & Grants
MJ Daemen, GJ Biessels, ..., WJ Niessen, EE Bron, Heart-Brain Connection Crossroads (HBCx), Cardiovasculair Onderzoek Nederland (CVON), 2019
MJ Daemen, M van Buchem, ..., WJ Niessen, CVON Heart Brain Connection (HBC), Cardiovasculair Onderzoek Nederland (CVON), 2012
Outside Erasmus MC
Amsterdam UMC, locatie AMC
Amsterdam UMC, locatie Vumc