How can a computer detect the onset of Parkinsons disease?

Scientists from the University of Houston have developed a system that integrates information about Parkinsons disease and brain activity patterns from electroencephalography (EEG) a common non-invasive tool used to measure brain electrical activity.

The work builds off the foundation of scientists at Yale University who have linked a Parkinsons patients electroencephalograph (EEG) signal with a retrograde spin of the TRN the main brain structure where the disease begins. There are approximately 1. 6 million people living with the disorder which is the most common form of dementia affecting more than 2. 4 million adults in the United States. New therapies to treat the disease are in development as are therapies that may help the brain survive longer.

Other tasks the system is designed to perform include detecting cerebrospinal fluid changes and factors that can influence neurons calcium levels and if needed trigger an epileptic seizure.

Theres been a great interest in EEG as a tool to study the progression and progression of brain diseases including Parkinsons disease said Stephen Pon professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston who worked closely with scientists at Yale University. More people are trying to develop these devices because of the excitement about the technology.

Pon and his team used the Yale-developed neurostimulated TRN with the revolutionary algorithm to study the brain activity and the progressive progression of Parkinsons disease which can cause simple but dangerous tremors.

The computer scores and validates the activity patterns of the TRN as part of its Parkinsons disease classification system. It created a graph of brain activity and analysis of the variations along the TRNs two subgraphs.

We found that the TRN did not show abnormal brain activity in people before they were diagnosed for Parkinsons disease even though it did reveal abnormal brain activity in people who subsequently developed the disease Pon said.

The researchers also found a correlation between the certification of the progression of the disease and the TRN-C2 levels in the participants. Parkinsons disease progresses faster when levels of the most cells in the right part of the brain are damaged.