In the past, we’ve seen doctors use AI software to detect brain tumors, kidney disease and various cancers. Today, researchers from IBM and the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) say they have developed a program that can predict how a patient with Parkinson’s disease symptoms will progress in terms of timing and severity. In the Lancet Digital Health journal, they say the software could transform the way doctors help patients manage their symptoms by allowing them to better predict disease progression.
“Our goal is to use AI to help with patient management and clinical trial design. These goals are important because, despite the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease, patients present with a unique variety of motor and non-motor symptoms, ”IBM said.
The breakthrough would not have been possible without the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a study sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. IBM describes the data set, which includes information on more than 1,400 people, as the “largest and most robust volume of longitudinal data on patients with Parkinson’s disease to date” and says that he enabled his AI model to map complex patterns of symptoms and progression.
Parkinson’s disease is estimated to affect more than 6 million people worldwide, and there is currently no known cure for it. IBM Research and MJFF plan to continue work on the AI model. In the future, they hope to improve it by providing more granular characterizations of the different stages of the disease.
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