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Welcome to Our Parkinson's Place


I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where
updated news is in one place. That is why I began this blog.
I am not responsible for it's contents, I am just a copier of information searched on the computer. Please understand the copies are just that, copies and at times, I am unable to enlarge the wording or keep it uniformed as I wish. This is for you to read and to always keep an open mind.
Please discuss this with your doctor, should you have any questions, or concerns. Never do anything without talking to your doctor. I do not make any money from this website. I volunteer my time to help all of us to be informed. Please no advertisers. This is a free site for all.
Thank you.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Parkinson's Advocate and Olympic Medalist Davis Phinney to Receive White House "Champions of Change" Award


-- Leaders in Parkinson's disease honored for building awareness, investing in research that impacts the lives of 1.5 million Americans --

PR Newswire
BOULDER, Colo.March 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of the Champions of Change program (www.whitehouse.gov/champions), the White House recognizes everyday Americans who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. On March 23, 2015, nine people and organizations in the Parkinson's community will be honored for advocating for better treatments and a cure.
Davis Phinney was selected because of his work and pioneering vision to share education, inspiration and effective self-care strategies so that those living with Parkinson's can take action to improve their quality of life.
In 2000, Davis Phinney was fresh off of a successful professional cycling career, highlighted by an Olympic bronze medal (1984), and his role as a key member of the first American team to race in the Tour de France, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He founded the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2004 to focus on living well today with Parkinson's. More than a decade later, the Foundation's work has benefited hundreds of thousands of people, their health care providers, care partners and communities by dramatically changing the approach to living with and treating the disease. Phinney's tenacity, coupled with his infectious positive attitude and dedication to well-being, inspire the work of the Davis Phinney Foundation and have earned him the reputation as a tireless advocate and mentor for others living with Parkinson's.
"In 2002, I carried the Olympic torch, as part of the torch relay, when it came through Boulder en route to the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. That feeling, the responsibility, and that obligation of bearing the torch – an inspiring symbol of light and hope – has stayed with me, and it informs everything that we do at the Davis Phinney Foundation," said Phinney. "I'm deeply honored to be recognized as a Champion of Change."
To watch the ceremony live online, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 9:00 a.m. on March 23rd.
Davis Phinney Foundation
The Davis Phinney Foundation was created in 2004 to help people with Parkinson's disease live well today. Its major initiatives include: the Every Victory Counts® manual, developed by movement disorder experts to provide practical ways to live well with Parkinson's; The Victory Summit® symposia series, which brings experts into communities to share advances in science, care and to inspire those affected by the disease to take action; the Living Well Challenge™ educational webinar series; the "Parkinson's Exercise Essentials" video and the funding of research focused on exercise, speech and other quality of life therapies. www.davisphinneyfoundation.org
Parkinson's Disease
Globally, an estimated 6.3 million people have Parkinson's disease. It affects men and women alike. Its prevalence is higher in the over-60 age group, although diagnosis at younger ages is increasingly common.
Contact: Audrey Strong
(720) 324-8689

audreystrong2009@yahoo.com

SOURCE Davis Phinney Foundation

Second Parkinson’s Vaccine Reports Positive Safety Results

FoxFeed Blog


Posted by  Maggie McGuire, March 20, 2015
Second Parkinson’s Vaccine Reports Positive Safety Results
Irish biotechnology company Prothena announced yesterday that its vaccine in development to slow Parkinson’s disease (PD) progression was safe and tolerable in a Phase I study.
This immunotherapy approach introduces an antibody (called PRX002) against the protein alpha-synuclein, which clumps in the brain cells of people with PD. Researchers believe that clearing out the clumps of alpha-synuclein will protect the brain cells from degradation caused by Parkinson’s.
Prothena’s news follows an announcement last July from Austrian biotech AFFiRiS that its MJFF-funded vaccine against alpha-synuclein was also safe and tolerable in a Phase I study. AFFiRiS is now testing a “boost” of that vaccine in the same research volunteers and is planning a Phase II study.
While both immunotherapy drugs, the compound from AFFiRiS prompts the body to generate the antibody against alpha-synuclein while Prothena is introducing the antibody directly. MJFF has not funded Prothena but is consulting on its PRX002 project.
The company tested its drug in 40 healthy volunteers and found that, in addition to safety, treatment was associated with lower alpha-synuclein levels, a promising but early finding.
“We look forward to building upon these data with results from the on-going, multiple ascending dose study in patients with Parkinson's disease expected in the first half of 2016, where we will also be measuring levels of PRX002 in the cerebrospinal fluid and assessing additional biochemical, imaging and clinical biomarker endpoints,” said Gene Kinney, PhD, chief scientific officer and head of research and development at Prothena.
That Phase I study in people with Parkinson’s is recruiting at a number of sites in the United States. Visit Fox Trial Finder to learn more.
Watch a webinar on the role of alpha-synuclein in PD and how researchers are targeting this protein to stop disease progression.
https://www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/news-detail.php?second-parkinson-vaccine-reports-positive-safety-results

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fatigue and Parkinson's Disease

 


Why can't I seem to get anything done?

One of Parkinson’s more insidious symptoms is fatigue. This is not your garden variety bone-tired. This is fatigue on a cellular level. Your body is working overtime to accomplish the simplest of tasks: Taking a shower, answering the phone, pouring orange juice. In addition, you may be coping with the combination of possible cognitive problems knows as "Parkinson's apathy". These problems include difficulty initiating projects, inability to follow complex instructions, short-term memory loss and difficulty in switching gears midstream.
You can fight Parkinson’s disease apathy by exercising, trying to get regular sleep, taking short naps, and making sure you do not isolate yourself. Also ensure that you and your doctor are square on your drug regimen. The dishes still might not get done, but at least you will feel better.
https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons/living-with-pd/topic.php?fatigue

Dexterity and Parkinson's Disease


How can I minimize embarrassing dexterity problems?

Dexterity problems can include fumbling for bills, change, and credit cards at checkout counters. Staying at home is a great temptation when your symptoms are showing, but it only deprives you and your spouse or friends of the pleasure of each other's company. And it isolates you. The truth is that few people will even notice your symptoms. A bad tremor while making change is taken for a momentary rattling.
 Knocking over a glass at dinner? Spilled soup? It happens to everyone.

How can I minimize embarrassing dexterity problems such as fumbling for bills, change, and credit cards at checkout counters?

Some Parkinson’s patients embark on an endless search for the perfect wallet, but the issue is not limited to money. Car keys, theater programs, church bulletins, a glass of wine, or a plate of food at a buffet — worse yet, both a glass and a plate. Everyone drops things. It just happens more frequently with Parkinson’s patients, who carry around this baggage of "disease" that seems to get a little heavier with each mishap.
Compensatory strategies can be helpful: A large wallet for easy access, counting change ahead of time, not using change, asking a friend to hold your drink while you steady a plate, etc. When you encounter a new problem, think about the best way to handle it the next time. And remember, dropping change is a symptom of your disease, not a reflection on your character. The more you are out and about, the more people will see you, and visibility means greater acceptance from others as well as increased confidence. Parkinson’s disease doesn't have to be a prison.

https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons/living-with-pd/topic.php?dexterity

Symptoms & Diseases Associated With Vitamin D Deficiency

I do not recommend any drugs, or doctors. I just provide copies of information to view.


Sunshine
It is estimated that anywhere from 30 to 100% of Americans, depending upon their age and community living environments, are deficient in Vitamin D. More than half of all American children are vitamin deficient. Supposedly almost 3/4s of pregnant women are vitamin D deficient, predisposing their unborn children to all sorts of problems. Worldwide, it is estimated that the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency affects one billion people. In my practice over 80% of patients whose vitamin D levels I check are deficient.
No one is exactly sure why this is happening apart from the fact that we spend too much time indoors and when we go out into the sun, we lather sunscreen on ourselves. I think it must be more than that. But whatever the reason, the reality is we have a major epidemic on our hands.

How much vitamin D do I need?

How much vitamin D you need varies with age, body weight, percent of body fat, latitude, skin coloration, season of the year, use of sun block, individual variation in sun exposure, and – probably – how ill you are.
As a general rule, old people need more than young people, big people need more that little people, fat people need more than skinny people, northern people need more than southern people, dark-skinned people need more than fair skinned people, winter people need more than summer people, sun block lovers need more than sun block haters, sun-phobes need more than sun worshipers, and ill people may need more than well people.
What I and many of my colleagues around the country are finding is that even people spending what we thought was adequate amount of time in the sun, are still showing up with low blood vitamin D levels. I am not sure why at this stage but there is an easy and cheap solution…vitamin D supplementation.
Here are some guidelines:
Vitamin D3 - 2000 IUIf your blood level is above 45ng/ml and for maintenance, I recommend 2,000-4,000 IU daily depending on age, weight, season, how much time is spent outdoors, where one lives, skin color and obviously blood levels. In other words if you are older, larger, living in the northern latitudes during the winter, are not getting sun and have dark skin, I recommend the higher maintenance dose.
Vitamin D3 5000 IUIf your blood level is 35-45 ng/ml, I recommend you correct it with 5,000 of vitamin D3 a day for 3 months under a doctor’s supervision and then recheck your blood levels.
Vitamin D3 10000 IUIf your blood level is less than 35 ng/ml, I recommend you correct it with 10,000 of vitamin D3 a day under a doctor’s supervision and then recheck your blood levels after 3 months. It takes a good 6 months usually to optimize your vitamin D levels if you’re deficient. Once this occurs, you can lower the dose to the maintenance dose of 2,000 – 4,000 IU a day.

What are the symptoms of vit D deficiency?

There is no clear pattern of symptoms. In fact many people remain asymptomatic despite low levels. But here are the more common symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • General muscle pain and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation or diarrhea

What diseases are associated with Vit D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every major disease. This includes:
  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
  • 17 varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Infertility and PMS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psoriasis

What about vitamin D toxicity?

It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs. Although very rare, it is possible to overdose and become toxic with supplementation as vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and therefore stored in the body for longer periods of time. Therefore if you are taking 5,000 IU or more daily, you should have your blood levels monitored approximately every 3 months.

What blood test should I have to check my vitamin D levels?

The only blood test that can diagnose vitamin D deficiency is a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25 OH vitamin D). Unfortunately, some doctors are still ordering the wrong test, 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D. In fact a common cause of high 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D is a low 25(OH)D or vitamin D deficiency. So when doctors see the 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D is normal or high and tell their patients that they are OK, they are often vitamin D deficient.
Your doctor should do this test for you. Unfortunately even some of the labs, in particular Qwest, have had problems with correct results, usually giving erroneously high results.
If you don’t want to go through your doctor, the ZRT lab does a blood spot test that you can order without going through a doctor.

What is the ideal blood level of 25 hydroxy vitamin D?

The current ranges for “normal” are 20 to 55 ng/ml. These are much too low!!! They may be fine if you want to prevent rickets or osteomalacia, but not for optimal health. The ideal range for optimal health is 50-80 ng/ml.

How often should I have a 25 hydroxy vitamin D blood test?

At least once a year especially at the beginning of winter. If you are supplementing, I suggest you monitor your vitamin D levels approximately every 3months until you are in the optimal range. If you are taking high doses (10,000 IU a day) your doctor must also check your calcium, phosphorous, and parathyroid hormone levels every 3 months.

http://www.drfranklipman.com/symptoms-diseases-associated-with-vitamin-d-deficiency/

Research and Markets: Global Parkinson's Disease Pipeline Highlights 2014-2015




Research and Markets(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/dck497/parkinsons) has announced the addition of th"Parkinson's Disease Pipeline Highlights - 2015" report to their offering.
The latest report Parkinson's Disease Pipeline Highlights - 2015, provides most up-to-date information on key pipeline molecules in the global Parkinson's Disease market. It covers emerging therapies for Parkinson's Disease in active clinical development stages including early and late stage clinical trials. The pipeline data presented in this report helps executives for tracking competition, identifying partners, evaluating opportunities, formulating business development strategies, and executing in-licensing and out-licensing deals.
Clinical Trial Stages:
The report provides Parkinson's Disease pipeline molecules by clinical trial stages including both early and late stage development - phase 3 clinical trials, phase 2 clinical trials, phase 1 clinical trials, preclinical research, and discovery stage.
Drug Mechanism Classes:
The report provides Parkinson's Disease pipeline molecules by their dominant mechanism of action. This helps executives categorize molecules based on their drug class and also assess the strengths and weaknesses of compounds.
Company:
The report provides Parkinson's Disease pipeline molecules by the Originator Company.
Short-term Launch Highlights:
Find out which Parkinson's Disease pipeline products will be launched in the US and Ex-US till 2017.
Key Topics Covered:
1. Parkinson's Disease Pipeline by Stages
2. Parkinson's Disease Pipeline by Drug Class
3. Parkinson's Disease Pipeline by Company
4. Parkinson's Disease Phase 3 Clinical Trial Insights
5. Parkinson's Disease Phase 2 Clinical Trial Insights
6. Parkinson's Disease Phase 1 Clinical Trial Insights
7. Parkinson's Disease Preclinical Research Insights
8. Parkinson's Disease Discovery Stage Insights
9. Appendix
10. Research Methodology
Laura Wood, Senior Manager
press@researchandmarkets.com
For E.S.T. Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907
Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716
http://health.einnews.com/article/255631088/-lg3Xrx375fOFdPX

Using Electrical Pulses to Treat Parkinson’s Disease Pain






Mar 18, 2015    |    Rachel Lutz

Long-term spinal cord stimulation can stall symptoms of diseases similar to Parkinson’s, according to research published in Scientific Reports.   Researchers from Duke Medicine built upon their earlier research – which found that electrical pulsations can temporarily ease the symptoms of mice’s neurological disorders – in order to target the loss of dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine is an essential brain molecule that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. L-dopa is a standard drug treatment used for Parkinson’s disease, and works to replace dopamine in the brain. However, its side effects and loss of effectiveness over time sparked the researchers’ interest.   “Finding novel treatments that address both the symptoms and progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease is a major priority,” said the study’s senior author Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD, in a press release. “We need options that are safe, affordable, effective, and can last a long time. Spinal cord stimulation has the potential to do this for people with Parkinson’s disease.”   Less than 5 percent of Parkinson’s disease patients qualify for deep brain stimulation treatment, despite its merit as a valuable therapy.   “Even though deep brain stimulation can be very successful, the number of patients who can take advantage of this therapy is small, in part because of the invasiveness of the procedure,” Nicolelis said.  

 In 2009, the researcher team developed a device that produces electrical stimulants in an animal model’s dorsal column. The mice had depleted dopamine levels, which mimicked the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but when the device was turned on, the mice displayed healthy behaviors. For this study, the investigators delved into long term treatment with the device.   Over the course of 6 weeks, pulses were delivered to the mice’s dorsal column twice weekly for 30 minute sessions. The mice demonstrated significant improvement, including motor skills and a reversal of severe weight loss. Better survival of neurons and a higher density of dopaminergic innervations in brain regions that cause Parkinson’s disease in humans were also noted. The researchers extrapolated that the treatment can protect against the loss or damage of neurons. 


  Currently, researchers believe chronic pain can be managed in humans with similar devices. By using electrodes implanted over the spinal cord, a tingling sensation is produced to temporarily relieve pain. Prior literature from researchers worldwide has also demonstrated that targeting the dorsal column in humans could be an effective way to bring back motor function in Parkinson’s disease patients.   “This is still a limited number of cases, so studies like ours are important in examining the basic science behind the treatment and the potential mechanisms of why it is effective,” Nicolelis concluded. 


 See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/news/Using-Electrical-Pulses-to-Treat-Parkinsons-Disease-Pain#sthash.azN4hoS4.dpuf
http://www.hcplive.com/news/Using-Electrical-Pulses-to-Treat-Parkinsons-Disease-Pain

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to control the brain: Michael Okun and Kelly Foote at TEDxUF




Dr. Michael S. Okun (NPF's National Medical Director) and Dr. Foote explain "How to Control the Brain" in a very informative TEDxTalk, where they provide a helpful summary of the brain's fundamental operations before moving into the field of Deep Brain Stimulation. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Parkinson's sufferers more than twice as likely to die in hospital after emergency admission as other patients in England




Last updated: The risk of dying in hospital for people with Parkinson's following an emergency admission is increased by almost 2.5 times with the risk for older sufferers (over 85 years of age) increasing to 1 in 10 , according to the largest ever study of its kind in England1.
The study, "Parkinson's Disease Hospitalisation in England" examined admissions by patients with this debilitating brain condition and compared them to those for all other causes over a four-year period. The primary aim of the report was to highlight the criticality for Parkinson's patients in receiving the right treatment at the right time , thereby saving lives and helping to give them "their life back" by relieving symptoms. The secondary aim was to 'red flag' the increasingly high economic burden to the NHS caused by expensive and potentially preventable emergency admissions.
The report found that Parkinson's sufferers are more likely to be admitted as an emergency admission than for elective reasons (72% v. 28% respectively). Emergency admissions for people with Parkinson's costs the NHS nearly £200m a year - £3,338 per patient. This compares to £1,417 for a planned non-emergency hospital stay.
The main reasons for emergency admissions among Parkinson's patients are pneumonia (13.5%); physical deterioration (9.4%); urinary tract infection (9.2%) and hip fractures (4.3%). Parkinson's patients are up to twice as likely (1.5 to 2.6 times) to be admitted for these conditions compared to the average patient.
Parkinson's patients were almost twice as likely to stay in hospital for more than 3 months and almost 2.5 times more likely to die in hospital.
The lead author, neurologist Professor Carl Clarke, of the University of Birmingham and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, also warned of a worsening situation on the horizon as the ageing population will inevitably result in an increase in Parkinson's sufferers.
He said: "With the ageing population in developed countries, the number of people affected by Parkinson's will rise with the inevitable dramatic increase in healthcare costs of hospitalisation. A greater understanding is required about the whole process of hospitalisation in Parkinson's patients including why they are admitted, what happens during admission, and what happens on discharge. Only then can we develop improved processes to prevent and better manage hospitalisation. Urgent attention should be given to developing cost-effective interventions to reduce the burden of hospitalisation for patients, carers and healthcare systems."
The study utilised the English Hospital Episodes Statistics Database, where all admissions to hospital in England are recorded.
All admissions - emergency and non-emergency, of people aged 35 years of age who were admitted to hospital between 2009 and 2013 were compared. This included reasons for admission, length of stay, costs and death in hospital. The study found that there were:
   324,055 hospital admissions for 182,859 PD patients over four years (2009-2013)
   Of the total 232,905, 72% were emergency admissions, costing more than £777m
   The total costs of PD admissions during that period resulted in total NHS expenditure of £907m
   The number of emergency PD admissions each year 58,226 admissions costing £194m
   Average cost of planned admission for a PD patient is £1,417 compared to £3,338 per admission for an emergency admission
   More admissions in those aged 65 and above, with almost half of admissions occurring in the 75 to 84-year-old bracket. Cost per admission increases with age.
   Average length of stay for emergency admissions in PD was 7 days longer than admissions from all other causes
Professor Clarke concluded: "The NHS spends nearly £200 million per year on emergency admissions in Parkinson's patients. The main reasons for admission are pneumonia, motor decline, urinary tract infections and hip fractures which occur more frequently in Parkinson's patients than in a control group. Parkinson's patients have longer hospital stays and are almost 2.5 times more likely to die."
Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson's UK said: "This report shows there can be disastrous consequences when people with Parkinson's are admitted to hospital. Poor, underdeveloped Parkinson's services mean people with the condition are being admitted as an emergency into hospital at alarmingly high rates, staying longer than they should - and all too often leaving in far worse health than they went in, or never going home at all. However we know that with proper support at an early stage, many of these admissions could be avoided. We urgently need to see better, more joined-up services and greater education about the condition. The new UK Parkinson's Excellence Network, designed to draw together professionals from across the NHS and social care to revolutionise Parkinson's care, will help to drive up standards and spread best practice. By improving the care of Parkinson's patients from diagnosis onwards, the NHS will not only reduce emergency hospital admissions but also alleviate the strain on hospital beds which would benefit our health service as a whole."
This medical study is a collaboration between UCB and three of the UK's leading medical experts working with Parkinson's patients.


Adapted by MNT from original media release
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/290944.php?tw

Wearables and Apps for Parkinson's disease: Why Big Data and Big Names May Not Be Small Enough




CLEVELANDMarch 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- While headlines recently surged over big organizations such as Intel, Apple, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation partnering to launch pilot studies on wearables, mobile apps, and big data for Parkinson's disease... a small, Cleveland, Ohio based company continued to do what it has done best for over a decade, innovate targeted and clinically validated assessment tools for individuals with Parkinson's, and deliver them globally.  Without splashy headlines, this week Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT) launched its latest innovation, Kinesia 360™ [ http://glneurotech.com/kinesia/products/kinesia-360/pd-wearables-apps/ ] for continuous, mobile assessment of Parkinson's disease. Kinesia 360 uses wireless, patient-worn sensors and a smart phone app to monitor Parkinson's symptoms throughout the day. Data and reports are remotely transmitted to a secure web portal for access by clinicians and researchers. GLNT's Kinesia technology is a medical device with validation in over sixty publications, domestic and international medical device certifications, and intellectual property for sensor-based assessment, algorithms, and wireless transmission of Parkinson's motor symptom severity.

Why is Measuring Parkinson's Disease So Challenging?

Parkinson's impacts quality of life for millions around the world. Common symptoms include tremor, slowed movements, stiffness, freezing, and gait abnormalities. And if that's not enough, therapies used to control those symptoms can cause side effects of wild, irregular movements called "dyskinesias." "Measuring symptoms and side effects, which often fluctuate during the day, is critical both for optimizing patient care and clinical trials determining the efficacy of new therapies," says Christopher Pulliam, PhD, Product Manager. "Developing technology, such as Kinesia 360, to accurately and remotely measure Parkinson's is extremely challenging.  Was an individual typing on a keyboard or did he have tremor?  Was she folding the laundry or was it dyskinesia?"

During standard clinical evaluations, clinicians visually assess motor symptoms during specific tasks such as holding arms outstretched, tapping fingers, or tapping toes. "Measuring Parkinson's symptoms during activities of daily living creates an entirely new set of challenges for wearable sensors and algorithms," continued Dr. Pulliam. "Not only must the system be intelligent enough to detect symptoms and side effects, but it must distinguish those from activities which may mask or mimic those symptoms."

Big Data or Subtle Symptom Features

Motion sensors are common today in wearables, watches, and mobile devices for monitoring exercise or step counts. These gross measures of movement, however, do not provide a direct measure of Parkinson's features such as tremor, bradykinesia, or dyskinesia, as each of those symptoms have very distinct features.  "As the wearables market has recently exploded with consumer actigraphy devices and motion sensors in smart phones, the ability to quickly collect big data has emerged," says Joseph P. Giuffrida, PhD, President and Principal Investigator. "However, our decade of experience on sensor-based, quantitative assessment of Parkinson's shows it's often the small things that matter.  Where was the sensor positioned?  What features were extracted? Having a sensor in the pocket is great if you simply want to measure movement.  But to specifically measure Parkinson's symptoms, more accurate and intelligent technology is required."

According to GLNT researchers, it's not about just rapidly collecting data.  The small, subtle details used to develop Kinesia 360 lie in protocol design, positioning and sensitivity of sensors, and intelligent algorithms to process data. "We've spent the last decade collecting data from individuals with Parkinson's to develop and clinically validate intelligent algorithms that actually quantify symptoms and side effects," says Dustin Heldman, PhD, Biomedical Research Manager.  "We implemented strategic protocols to collect data from wide ranging symptom severities and during specific activities that could interfere with detecting the very symptoms we want to measure."  

Over sixty publications validate Kinesia technology over a wide range of symptoms and applications. And it's small, subtle details, which allows their devices to detect timing and severity of specific Parkinson's symptoms.  This has a big impact on understanding therapeutic effects and disease progression.

Data Mining or Validated Tools

GLNT's Kinesia technology has been integrated into a number of clinical trials as a validated tool for evaluating new Parkinson's treatments. As part of those studies, specific outcomes and expected symptom are defined upfront. Data mining refers to analyzing large amounts of data after collection to look for trends or correlations. This research technique can be incredibly valuable in many applications.   However, it may not be the best strategy to implement in clinical trials, which require rigid protocols before patient enrollment.  "Data mining allows researchers to dive in to a huge pile of data to see if they can make sense of anything," says Maureen Phillips, Global Clinical Trials Manager. "We work with clients and utilize our growing clinical database to determine statistics and number of subjects required to adequately power trials based on specific symptom effects.  Kinesia 360 is expanding our technology offering to now assess symptoms in a truly ambulatory setting."

Highlighting this differentiation is a recent study in another movement disorder population, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Biogen Idec in collaboration with PatientsLikeMe explored wearables to assess mobility in MS.  The study collected data from 250 people with MS using the wearable Fitbit motion sensor.  The outcome was that more sophisticated sensors were required to quantify movement accurately and consistently, and the technology was not validated MS assessment. So while there was high participation and compliance from study participants, the data did not provide meaningful results.  This lesson can be valuable for the Parkinson's market and data mining sensors in consumer products. 

Sensitive Data or Patient Compliance

Higher sensitivity of data often leads to more accurate results of assessing Parkinson's, but may come at the cost of patient compliance.  "Imagine a system that used 100 motion sensors all over the body, it would likely have greater accuracy to detect symptoms than a single sensor on a smart phone in someone's pocket," says Dr. Giuffrida.  "However, likelihood of a patient complying with wearing 100 sensors everyday is incredibly low. Therefore, having strategically located sensors in convenient, wearable, cosmetically acceptable devices that minimally impacts patients time or daily routine, but provides sensitive data to detect Parkinson's symptoms is what we have produced in Kinesia 360."

GLNT has conducted several studies that instrumented large numbers of sensors on individuals with Parkinson's to determine the minimum number of sensors necessary to accurately assess symptoms.  As a result, Kinesia 360 utilizes two sensors, on the wrist and ankle, throughout the day.   When asked why the sensor already in a phone or on a watch cannot be used, Dr. Giuffrida explained, "Those sensors are fine if you only care about general activity, but not if you truly want to assess Parkinson's symptoms. Imagine wearing only one sensor and driving down a very bumpy road.  Think about the motions that might be detected by the sensor. It may look very similar to Parkinson's symptoms.  By utilizing two sensors, one on the upper and lower extremity, we are able to effectively filter out those activities and improve accuracy with minimal user burden."

GLNT thanked the National Institute of Health for supporting development through the SBIR program, specifically National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institute on Aging  (R44AG033947, 2R44NS065554, & R44AG044293).

About Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies [ http://www.glneurotech.com ] is committed to pioneering innovative biomedical technologies to serve research, education, and medical communities, improving access to medical technology for diverse populations, and positively impacting quality of life for people around the world. US Patents No. 8,187,209, No. 8,679,038, No. 8,702,629, No. 8,845,557.

Media Contact Lori Grim, 216-361-5410 - lgrim@GLNeuroTech.com

SOURCE Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies