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Brain, heart conditions could be treated as a one functioning unit, uOttawa says


A group of researchers from more than 45 academic institutions across Canada, including the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) came together to detect, treat and prevent brain and heart conditions.

The research is centred at uOttawa. It is called Brain-Heart Interconnectome and aims at looking at the heart and the brain as a one functioning unit, Ruth Slack, director of uOttawa told CTV Morning Live.

"Brain-heart diseases is one of the biggest challenges of our time. In Canada, one in three people will die from brain or heart condition. And the cost is over a $55 billion a year. We really need to do something different. Something really has to change. The way we do research," Slack said.

The research has shown that the brain and the heart are deeply connected to each other, Slack said.

For example, if something in the heart goes wrong, such as heart attack, something wrong happens to the brain, such as a stroke, depression, anxiety or dementia, she explains.

"So, they’re constantly feeding back on each other," she explained.

And to understand the emotional and physical impact of a heart or a brain condition, the researchers are also working with “patient partners” who have that experience to add to the table, Ann-Marie Julien, patient partner, told CTV Morning Live.

The public can attend the university's upcoming state of the science summit at uOttawa, where researchers will be sharing their findings. The summit is set to take place June 12-14. 

The research is supported by a $109 million grant from the Canada Research Excellence Fund. Top Stories

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