What is the Heart-Brain Axis? Why do we need to know more? How do we close the current knowledge gaps and embark on a discovery plan?
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates all the critical physiological functions of the heart (chronotropy, dromotropy, inotropy, and lusitropy). This system is composed of central components, intrathoracic components, and intracardiac components. While the central and intrathoracic ANS has been well defined the “heart’s little brain” remains a subject of intense investigation.
The aim of the field of neurocardiology is to develop tools to characterize the structure and function of the human neuro-cardiac nervous system (NCNS) in health and disease. This would enable us to identify new therapuetic targets to address therapeutic gaps in the treatment of the most common cardiac and vascular diseases.
Dr. Issam D. Moussa is medical director of the Carle Heart & Vascular Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Carle Illinois College of Medicine. He is also an affiliate faculty member at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
As an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Moussa specializes in performing complex catheter-based cardiovascular procedures in patients with coronary artery disease, structural heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease.
Dr. Moussa has been a prolific clinical investigator; he has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in prominent medical journals and has participated in over 100 clinical trials. His clinical research activities spanned the fields of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and structural heart disease. Dr. Moussa has held numerous leadership positions in the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention.