Australian medical technology company, Global Kinetics Corporation, is proud to be working with neurologist and Parkinson’s UK-funded researcher, Dr Alastair Noyce from the Institute of Neurology, University College London, to help spot early warning signs of Parkinson’s.
Global Kinetics will initially provide 1,000 of its Parkinson’s KinetiGraph™ (PKG™) reports for use in Dr Noyce’s Parkinson’s UK-funded PREDICT-PD project. The PREDICT-PD project currently monitors over 1,000 healthy people aged 60-80 in the UK to identify risk factors that could allow early detection of Parkinson’s.
Dr Noyce said: “Every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson’s disease*. The PREDICT-PD project hopes to reduce this by identifying which people are at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and then developing treatments to delay or even prevent the onset of the disease. The PKG system will drive this project forward by providing us with a wealth of objective data that we simply would not have been able to capture in any other way.”
The PKG system was developed by leading neurologist Professor Malcolm Horne from the Florey Neuroscience Institute in Melbourne Australia. Professor Horne said: “The PKG system is already being used successfully in hundreds of clinics around the world to improve treatment for people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am excited that, through the PREDICT-PD project, we will now also be helping Dr Noyce and his team work toward earlier detection of the disease.”
Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder that affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for relaying the messages that control body movement. By the time a patient shows the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s and is diagnosed, approximately 50% of the dopamine producing neurons have died off and the neurodegeneration cannot be reversed**.
As a result there is no cure for Parkinson’s and treatments are used to ameliorate the symptoms. By providing the means for earlier detection, it is hoped that The PREDICT-PD project may lead to the discovery of treatments that will delay or ultimately prevent the start of the condition.
The project, which has been running since April 2011, has until now relied mainly on participants self-reporting symptoms using a set of simple tests. Last month, the PREDICT-PD team published findings in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry showing that participants estimated to be at higher risk of future Parkinson’s are already displaying subtle problems with movement.
The Global Kinetics collaboration will allow all participants to be provided with a PKG-Watch throughout 2017. The PKG-Watch, which resembles a smartwatch, continuously and accurately measures movement symptoms associated with Parkinson’s including a slowness of movement known as bradykinesia, involuntary muscle movements called dyskinesia and tremors.
The PKG-Watch records movement data and then uses algorithms developed by Global Kinetics to produce a report that will be automatically sent to the PREDICT-PD project. This will be used in conjunction with the subjective, self-reported data to provide the study with a much richer and more reliable and high quality data set.
The PKG watches will be provided to participants in the coming months. The PREDICT-PD project expects to publish the first findings incorporating data from the PKG in the second half of 2017.