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Parkinson’s disease could be predicted by new algorithm

By on September 21, 2017

Medical history might be the starting point the latest algorithm can asses in order to help patients maximize their chances to a better life

According to new research, the progressive degenerative neurological disorder affecting motor skills could be identified earlier by the algorith developed by the scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The tool might be able to predict if a patient will develop Parkinson or not by screening his medical records, and using the demographics associated with the illness, such as age, gender, race, tobacco use, while encoding the medical history of the last 5 years (especially targeting gastrointestinal disturbances, sleep patterns, fatigue and consistent weight loss).

As a result, the scientists created 536 codes that proved to be 73 per cent accurate when predicting the patients who will develop the disease later in life and 83 per cent accurate when predicting the list of individuals that will not.

With Parkinson affecting 1 million Americans and more than 10 million on a global scale, during the latest decade researchers have attempted to find a treatment by using different methods, from reprogramming brain cells to using sensors to help patients overcome the difficult stages of the disease.

Nevertheless, an early diagnosis remains the best tool in order to help patients that suffer from this condition have a better quality of life.

The study in Washington was recently published in the Neurology journal.

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About Laura Parvan

Medical professional, blogging passionate, with a high interest in social media impact on health-care information.