The CRUCIAL Objectives

Vascular dementia and heart failure represent major health burden to morbidity, mortality and quality of life.

The CRUCIAL Approach

We have built a consortium, CRUCIAL, which will develop a coordinated program to investigate the role of microvascular rarefaction in cognitive impairment and heart failure.

The CRUCIAL Impact

The impact of CRUCIAL’s work is to assess microvascular rarefaction in people with comorbidities such that they can be identified as having early symptoms of HFpEF and/or VCI.

The CRUCIAL Consortium

The consortium brings together 12 partners from multiple fields (clinicians, fundamental scientists, scientific SMEs, exploitation and dissemination SME, management SME, and a patient advocacy), representing 7 different countries.

The CRUCIAL Project

Vascular dementia and heart failure represent major health burden to morbidity, mortality and quality of life.

Comorbidities (hypertension, aging, diabetes, etc.) affect all organs, but the brain and heart are especially sensitive to these chronic stresses resulting in cognitive impairment (a mental disorder) and heart failure (a non-mental disorder). These comorbidities also induce a reduction in microvascular density, called microvascular rarefaction. Diagnosis of microvascular rarefaction is limited by the inability to assess microvascular density. We have built a consortium, CRUCIAL, which will develop a coordinated program to establish clinical tools to measure rarefaction and investigate the role of microvascular rarefaction in cognitive impairment and heart failure.

 

The CRUCIAL consortium brings together 12 partners from multiple fields (clinicians, fundamental scientists, scientific SMEs, exploitation and dissemination SME, management SME, and a patient advocacy), representing 7 different countries.

The CRUCIAL Consortium

The consortium brings together 12 partners from multiple fields (clinicians, fundamental scientists, scientific SMEs, exploitation and dissemination SME, management SME, and a patient advocacy), representing 7 different countries.

b3lineicon|b3icon-brain||Brain

Vascular Dementia

7.7 million people in Europe are estimated to have dementia and with an aging population this is expected to double by 2040.

Vascular Dementia
b3lineicon|b3icon-heart-rate||Heart Rate

Heart Failure

Every year in Europe, 3.6 million people are newly diagnosed with Heart Failure (HF).

Heart Failure
b3lineicon|b3icon-bulb-gear||Bulb Gear

CRUCIAL solution

We will investigate sex difference in all patient cohorts and in the experimental model.

CRUCIAL solution
Elizabeth Jones

“The important difference is that we are not trying to diagnose the disease, but the loss of blood vessels that we think is the cause.“

Elizabeth Jones
VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Elizabeth Jones

“It is not known why people with these conditions are more likely to get these diseases, nor why the heart and brain are especially sensitive, but one theory is that all of these co-morbidities lead to a loss in the smallest blood vessels, or micro-circulation, around these organs.“

Elizabeth Jones
VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Elizabeth Jones

“There are pathways being activated that actively make the vessels regress. If we can stop that from happening, we can inhibit the loss of the microvessels.“

Elizabeth Jones
VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Elizabeth Jones

“They don’t die from lack of blood flow, instead the blood stops flowing after the vessels disappear.“

Elizabeth Jones
VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Prof. Robert van Oostenbrugge

“Very little research is being done into the relationship between pathologies of the heart and the brain, even though there are growing indications of a close connection. Often, we still focus too much on one disorder, for example heart failure, when in fact we should be paying better attention to the potential long-term consequences for the brain. We hope that this new study will show that microcirculation plays an important role in this process.“

Prof. Robert van Oostenbrugge
Head of Neurology at Maastricht UMC+

Elizabeth Jones

“By improving the imaging technology, we hope we will be able to identify who is at risk and needs to be monitored more closely.“

Elizabeth Jones
VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Partners

European countries

Project duration (months)

Our ARVC Online Support Group is re-launching this month, led by our Support Nurse Jayne Partridge.

The first meeting 'An Introduction to ARVC' will be free to join via desktop/mobile device.

Please book your place early via our website: https://bit.ly/38li66N
#cardiomyopathy

First meeting of a great team of scientists, entrepreneurs and charities. We had our kick-off meeting for CRUCIAL. Now the real work begins 🙂 @Cardiomyopathy @joel_d_rose @S_Foulquier @SteveSmonds @JonesLab_KUL @CarmelietLab @ThomasTreibel

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