Young Talent program / Events HBCx


Lieza Exalto awarded HBCx postdoc grant

Lieza Exalto was awarded the HBCx postdoc grant. The neurologist, who works in UMC Utrecht, was awarded 100.000 Euro for here innovative project proposal.

Electronic patient files: a wealth of information

With the HBCx postdoc award, Exalto is going to investigate a large number of anonymous patient files. She is going to investigate the overlap in information between patient files of patients with heart failure and dementia. Due to recent developments, it is possible to study patient files without using personal data. 80% of medical information in patient files is stored in unstructured text. Using artificial intelligence, Exalto can structure and use the unstructured text for research purposes. Different terms from the files can be clustered. Subsequently, overlap in these clusters of information are investigated between patient files of patients with heart failure and dementia.

Information on daily functioning from patient files

You probably wouldn’t expect it, but patient files provide relevant information on daily functioning of patients. For instance, information from what patients tell the physicians, but also information on medical history and medication use. By combining information, you can investigate patterns, or clusters. These clusters of information can also be investigate in the heart-failure patient cohort of the HBCx study. The HBCx patient cohort has been studied extensively using MRI of heart and brain, blood work, and elaborate cognitive testing. When this rich data set is combined with the new information from the patient file research, Exalto expects to acquire new insights about underlying factors related to dementia in patients with heart failure.

The Heart-Brain Connection: focus on patients with heart failure and dementia

Exalto focuses on files of patients with heart failure and dementia. The relationship between the heart and the brain is also the focus of the HBCx study. We know that patients with heart failure have a higher risk of developing cognitive problems and dementia compared to people without heart failure. However, not every patient with heart failure develops cognitive problems. Why one patient does develop cognitive problems and the other does not, remains unclear. If we gain insight in the mechanisms, we might be able to recognize which patients are at risk for developing cognitive problems. This is important for managing these problems.

Dutch CardioVascular Alliance talent programme

This award is part of the young talent program of the Heart-Brain Connection consortium, which is part of the young talent program of the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance. The postdoc call was live in The Netherlands and aboard. The consortium received 7 applications. The proposals were evaluated by the independent international advisory board of the HBCx consortium. The proposal of Lieza Exalto was evaluated as the best proposal.

The Heart-Brain Connection consortium is part of the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance and receives funding from the Dutch Heart Foundation (2018-28).

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