|[August 13, 2014]
The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel Join Forces to Improve Parkinson's Disease Monitoring and Treatment Through Advanced Technologies
NEW YORK & SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) and Intel (News - Alert)
Corporation announced today a collaboration aimed at improving research
and treatment for Parkinson's disease - a neurodegenerative brain
disease second only to Alzheimer's in worldwide prevalence. The
collaboration includes a multiphase research study using a new big data
analytics platform that detects patterns in participant data collected
from wearable technologies used to monitor symptoms. This effort is an
important step in enabling researchers and physicians to measure
progression of the disease and to speed progress toward breakthroughs in
Anonymous patient data is aggregated and analyzed for new insight into Parkinson's disease via a new partnership between Intel and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. (Photo: Business Wire)
"Nearly 200 years after Parkinson's disease was first described by Dr.
James Parkinson in 1817, we are still subjectively measuring Parkinson's
disease largely the same way doctors did then," said Todd Sherer, PhD,
CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "Data science and wearable
computing hold the potential to transform our ability to capture and
objectively measure patients' actual experience of disease, with
unprecedented implications for Parkinson's drug development, diagnosis
"The variability in Parkinson's symptoms creates unique challenges in
monitoring progression of the disease," said Diane Bryant, senior vice
president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "Emerging
technologies can not only create a new paradigm for measurement of
Parkinson's, but as more data is made available to the medical
community, it may also point to currently unidentified features of the
disease that could lead to new areas of research."
Tracking an Invisible Enemy
For nearly two decades, researchers have been refining advanced genomics
and proteomics techniques to create increasingly sophisticated cellular
profiles of Parkinson's disease pathology. Advances in data collection
and analysis now provide the opportunity to expand the value of this
wealth of molecular data by correlating it with objective clinical
characterization of the disease for use in drug development.
The potential to collect and analyze data from thousands of individuals
on measurable features of Parkinson's, such as slowness of movement,
tremor and sleep quality, could enable researchers to assemble a better
picture of the clinical progression of Parkinson's and track its
relationship to molecular changes. Wearables can unobtrusively gather
and transmit objective, experiential data in real time, 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. With this approach, researchers could go from looking
at a very small number of data points and burdensome pencil-and-paper
patient diaries collected sporadically to analyzing hundreds of readings
per second from thousands of patients and attaining a critical mass of
data to detect patterns and make new discoveries.
MJFF and Intel initiated a study earlier this year to evaluate the
usability and accuracy of wearable devices for tracking agreed
physiological features from participants and using a big data analytics
platform to collect and analyze the data. The participants (16
Parkinson's patients and nine control volunteers) wore the devices
during two clinic visits and at home continuously over four days.
Bret Parker, 46, of New York, is living with Parkinson's and
participated in the study. "I know hat many doctors tell their patients
to keep a log to track their Parkinson's," said Parker. "I am not a
compliant patient on that front. I pay attention to my Parkinson's, but
it's not everything I am all the time. The wearables did that monitoring
for me in a way I didn't even notice, and the study allowed me to take
an active role in the process for developing a cure."
Intel data scientists are now correlating the data collected to clinical
observations and patient diaries to gauge the devices' accuracy, and are
developing algorithms to measure symptoms and disease progression.
Later this year, Intel and MJFF plan to launch a new mobile application
that enables patients to report their medication intake as well as how
they are feeling. The effort is part of the next phase of the study to
enable medical researchers to study the effects of medication on motor
symptoms via changes detected in sensor data from wearable devices.
Collecting, Storing and Analyzing the Data
To analyze the volume of data, more than 300 observations per second
from each patient, Intel developed a big data analytics platform that
integrates a number of software components including Cloudera®
CDH* - an open-source software platform that collects, stores, and
manages data. The data platform is deployed on a cloud infrastructure
optimized on Intel® architecture, allowing scientists to
focus on research rather than the underlying computing technologies. The
platform supports an analytics application developed by Intel to process
and detect changes in the data in real time. By detecting anomalies and
changes in sensor and other data, the platform can provide researchers
with a way to measure the progression of the disease objectively.
In the near future, the platform could store other types of data such as
patient, genome and clinical trial data. In addition, the platform could
enable other advanced techniques such as machine learning and graph
analytics to deliver more accurate predictive models that researchers
could use to detect change in disease symptoms. These advances could
provide unprecedented insights into the nature of Parkinson's disease,
helping scientists measure the efficacy of new drugs and assisting
physicians with prognostic decisions.
Shared Commitment to Open-Access Data
MJFF and Intel share a commitment to increasing the rate of progress
made possible by open access to data. The organizations aim to share
data with the greater Parkinson's community of physicians and
researchers as well as invite them to submit their own de-identified
patient and subject data for analysis. Teams may also choose to
contribute de-identified patient data for inclusion in broader,
The Foundation has previously made de-identified data and bio-samples
from its sponsored studies available to qualified researchers, including
from individuals with a Parkinson's-implicated mutation in their LRRK2
gene. MJFF has also opened access to resources from its landmark
biomarker study the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI)
since it launched in 2010. Parkinson's scientists around the world have
downloaded PPMI data more than 235,000 times to date.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The
Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for
Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the
condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an
aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with
active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business
leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers.�In addition
to funding more than $450 million in research to date, the Foundation
has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure.
Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation
forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic
scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of
participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online
tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through
high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the
grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.
For more information, visit us on the Web,
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The
company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the
foundation for the world's computing devices.�As a leader in corporate
responsibility and sustainability, Intel also manufactures the world's
first commercially available "conflict-free" microprocessors. Additional
information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com
and about Intel's conflict-free efforts at conflictfree.intel.com.
Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the
United States and other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
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