Emma van Reekum

PHRI Investigator Emma van Reekum has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the PSI Foundation for BRAVE-Mind, a sub-study of the ongoing BRAVE trial. This research aims to investigate the impact of bariatric surgery on depression and cognition in patients with obesity and high-risk cardiovascular disease.

“The study presents an exciting opportunity to deepen our understanding of the complex relationship between obesity, cardiovascular disease, and brain health,” stated van Reekum, principal investigator of the study.

The Resident Research Operating Grant will fund the BRAVE-Mind pilot study from June 1, 2024, to May 31, 2026. With this support, the study team will assess the viability of recruitment, retention, and outcome completion for the study. Currently in the recruitment phase, the study has achieved a significant milestone by enrolling the first 20 patients.

van Reekum is a resident physician and research trainee supervised by PHRI’s Executive Director and Senior Scientist Salim Yusuf. She is leading the BRAVE-Mind study in collaboration with PHRI Scientist Jorge Wong, Investigator Raed Joundi, and Program Director Sumathy Rangarajan, among others.

“We ultimately plan to conduct the first large-scale randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of bariatric surgery on psychiatric and cognitive functioning, thereby advancing healthcare for the growing global population affected by obesity,” emphasized van Reekum.

“We hope that BRAVE-Mind will not only address important questions about obesity but also foster interdisciplinary connections between psychiatry and other fields at PHRI and beyond.”

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