Research Brain MRI biomarkers for Parkinsons

icometrix, world leader in imaging artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for people with neurological conditions, has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) to continue efforts in research towards brain MRI biomarkers for Parkinson's disease (PD). The research is led in collaboration with co-principal investigator Kathleen Poston, MD, professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford Medicine.

Nearly 10 million people worldwide are living with PD. The most common symptoms include motor problems such as shaking, stiffness as well as difficulties with walking and balance. In addition, approximately 30% of patients with PD develop cognitive problems in the early stages of the disease, with a life-long risk of up to 80%. However, PD is extremely diverse with no two people experiencing the disease in the same way. This highlights the need for a personalized prognosis and treatment approach.

"PD monitoring is typically performed based on clinical scores that are subjective and do not allow for a fine-grained evaluation of disease characteristics. Early and specific prediction of the disease progression is therefore challenging. It also restricts our understanding of the underlying neurodegenerative pathophysiology and thereby hampers research on disease modifying therapies in an already highly diverse PD population," explains Annemie Ribbens, VP Science & Trials at icometrix. "With this research, we aim to evaluate brain MRI patterns of PD patients that identify, early on, patients at risk for cognitive or motor problems."

This grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation supports the development of a regulatory cleared solution to automatically analyze brain MRI scans to improve monitoring of PD patients in clinical routine, as well as for patient selection and outcome assessment in multi-center drug development trials. This PD-specific MRI solution will be added to the CE-marked* and FDA-cleared icobrain portfolio of icometrix that also contains solutions for Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

The first promising results of this project were presented at ADPD on April 1st 2023. Brain MRI scans from Stanford and MJFF's landmark, Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI),were evaluated in terms of volumetric patterns and correlated to corresponding clinical scores for motor and cognitive function. The results show that regional brain volumetry assessment can serve as an important biomarker in prediction and differentiation of PD patients at risk for motor and/or cognitive disability progression.

Founded in 2011, icometrix (Leuven, Belgium | Boston, MA, USA) strives for data-driven insights and personalized patient care, supported by AI. icometrix offers a portfolio of eight regulatory approved AI solutions to assist healthcare with various challenges; icobrain extracts data from brain MRI and CT scans for the radiological reporting and clinical management of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, brain trauma, epilepsy, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. icompanion, a digital platform, and mobile app helps people with MS and their care team to monitor clinical symptoms and treatments efficiently and objectively.

Today, icometrix is internationally active and integrated into more than 100 clinical practices. In addition, icometrix supports pharmaceutical companies in phase I-III trials as well as in Real-World Evidence (RWE) studies through imaging and data services, and digital health strategy.