Treating the heart, helping the brain

November 19, 2015

The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) is proud to announce the BRAIN-AF clinical study, which will be a world first, in collaboration with the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network, the pharmaceutical company Bayer, the Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC), and the MHI Foundation. The MHI's team of specialists and researchers and multidisciplinary teams from some fifty Canadian centres aim to demonstrate that taking a low dose of rivaroxaban, an anticoagulant, could decrease the risk of developing cognitive impairment, transient ischemic attack or stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.

The BRAIN-AF study hypothesizes that a low dose (15 mg a day) of an anticoagulant (rivaroxaban), compared to a dose of 100 mg a day of Aspirin, could reduce the risk of cognitive function decline, stroke or TIA in patients with atrial fibrillation by decreasing the rate of cerebral microemboli. 

"According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 47.5 million people worldwide have dementia.* In Canada, approximately 750,000 people currently have dementia, and this number is expected to double by 2031. It would therefore be a major victory if we could prevent some cases of dementia, including those linked to atrial fibrillation, thanks to the BRAIN-AF study," says Dr. Lena Rivard, cardiologist and director of the study.

"We are extremely proud of Dr. Rivard, the project's principal investigator, as well as her entire team of specialists who could make this major breakthrough in cardiology and medicine in general possible. We want to bring hope to our patients and their families, while advancing science. That's what we're working towards," says Dr. Denis Roy, Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Heart Institute, who has conducted numerous international studies on atrial fibrillation. 

The BRAIN-AF study will be coordinated by the MHICC. For the first year, it will be conducted across Canada (with 20 clinical centres in Quebec) and then go international, with sites already planned at major institutions in Europe and Australia. More than 6,000 patients will be able to participate in the study. The Institute invites those interested in taking part in the study, either as a patient or as a professional, to visit or contact the Institute directly at 514-376-3330, extension 2884.

About the Montreal Heart Institute
Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and basic research, ultra-specialized care, professional training and prevention. The MHI is affiliated with the Université de Montréal. Research Infosource ranks the Montreal Heart Institute the number one research hospital in Canada for research intensity and research income per researcher.

About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
The mission of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation is to raise and administer funds to support the Montreal Heart Institute's priority and innovative projects to help in its fight against cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Since its creation in 1977, the Foundation has given almost $200 million to the Montreal Heart Institute.


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Marie-Eve Arsenault
Communications Officer
Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
Phone: 514-376-3330, extension 2641 | | | @ICMtl