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Intel teams up with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research

Intel teams up with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research 

The collaboration between the two organizations will see Intel step in to develop a new big data analytics platform that will assist physicians and medical researchers in measuring the progression of the disease and to expedite progress toward breakthroughs in drug development.

“Nearly 200 years after Parkinson’s disease was first described by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817, we are still subjectively measuring (it) largely the same way doctors did then,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO, 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 and treatment.”

For nearly 20 years, research teams have arduously been refining advanced genomics and proteomics techniques to create refined cellular profiles of the neurological disease’s pathology. New enhancements in data gathering and examination now make it possible to correlate this information with the objective clinical characterization of Parkinson’s. This, in turn, will contribute to the development of new drugs for treatment.

“The variability in Parkinson’s symptoms creates unique challenges in monitoring progression of the disease,” said Diane Bryant, SVP and GM of Intel’s Data Centre 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.”

Obtaining more information about the measurable symptoms of Parkinson’s will be a boon for researchers, and will also enable Intel to develop wearable devices to track the frequency of the symptoms and the clinical progression of the disease. These devices would collect and transmit experiential data to researchers, and would be more convenient and accurate than written records provided by patients.

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