Koneksa announces The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has awarded a second research grant to evaluate Parkinson’s disease (PD) progression using digital measures. The first grant was awarded to investigate speech symptoms in PD.

The goal of this project is to predict stages of PD using different digital measures as classifiers, and to longitudinally model disease progression.

The study will analyze a retrospective Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) dataset collected from the Verily watch, composed of digital measures (activity, gait, sleep) using Koneksa algorithms combined with the application of specialized machine learning techniques.

PPMI, the landmark observational study sponsored by MJFF, has created a robust open access dataset, comprising clinical, imaging, biological and digital sensor data which will enable the research.

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation continues to fund research efforts aimed at improving the lives of people with Parkinson’s,” said Samantha Hutten, PhD, Director of Translational Research, MJFF. “We are proud to support the work of researchers at Koneksa investigating digital biomarkers to evaluate disease progression, as this is a critical unmet need.”

“Algorithms for analyzing passively-acquired sensor data are a substantial gap in the digital biomarker landscape,” said Chris Benko, CEO & Founder, Koneksa. “There are no current diagnostics to detect progression in early PD or in the prodromal (pre-diagnostic) stage and identifying any predictive digital biomarkers would be a meaningful addition for patients and physicians.”

“We are grateful to MJFF and privileged to collaborate on this study. Digital biomarkers are revolutionizing translational science and have proven efficacy, specifically in Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. John A. Wagner, Chief Medical Officer, Koneksa. “Predictive digital biomarkers will lead to better diagnosis and hopefully life-saving therapies for patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

Recently, Koneksa was awarded a research grant from MJFF in collaboration with Northwestern University, to evaluate a measurement concept that is designed to objectively quantify the severity of symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease and, specifically, vocal abnormalities related to early stages of the disease progression.

[Source(s): Koneksa, Business Wire]