Existing diagnoses for complex brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease focus on understanding clusters of major symptoms. In order to drive progress in the development of new treatments, it is important to understand the role of specific biological processes in the onset and progression of Parkinson’s. While much progress has been made in identifying and assessing Parkinson’s biomarkers during the past two decades, there remains no fully validated biomarkers of Parkinson’s progression. Reliable and well-validated biomarkers that reflect underlying biological changes and predict disease progression would dramatically improve patient care and accelerate research into both Parkinson’s biology and novel treatments.
To integrate and analyze clinical and biologic measures to track disease progression in early stage Parkinson’s patients and genetic cohorts to support the development of new disease-modifying therapies for use in clinical trials.
The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), is a landmark clinical study designed to identify biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease progression. The study has evaluated participants’ clinical status while collecting imaging, behavioral, ‘omics’ and other assessments longitudinally since 2010. In our aligned missions to advance brain health, MJFF is partnering with Cohen Veteran’s Bioscience Data Science team to quantitatively explore, evaluate, and predict disease trajectory, risk factors, and subtypes using PPMI data. The Data Science team will integrate techniques across advanced statistics, machine learning, and computational modeling to facilitate Parkinson’s biomarker discovery and deepen our understanding of disease progression.
Results will be published later this year on our website and through our communication channels.