Artificial intelligence discovers hidden features of Parkinson’s

A research carried out by scientists at the NYSCF Research Institute together with Google Research, has discovered with the help of artificial intelligence a new signature of Parkinson’s, which could help in the discovery of new treatments against the disease.

This signature consists of new cellular features of the disease. “The robotic technology that the NYSCF has built allows us to generate massive amounts of data from large patient populations and discover new disease signatures as a whole new basis for discovering drugs that really work,” said NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon.

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The study used the patient cell repository and the NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array robotic system to profile millions of cells from 91 Parkinson’s patients and control groups who do not have the disease.

Scientists isolated and expanded skin cells called fibroblasts from skin biopsy samples, then labeled different parts of these cells with a technique called Cell Painting and created thousands of high-content light microscopy images.

“These artificial intelligence methods can determine what patients’ cells have in common that might not otherwise be observable,” explained Google Research researcher Samuel J. Yang.

Artificial intelligence discovers new features of Parkinson’s that can help with treatment. Image: Shutterstock

New treatments for Parkinson’s?

“What’s also important is that the algorithms are unbiased – they don’t rely on any prior knowledge or bias about Parkinson’s disease, so we can discover entirely new signatures of the disease.”

The research is extremely important so that new clinical tests are carried out with the drugs that act against Parkinson’s, in this way, it will be possible to aim at attacking specific targets of the disease and pathways that may lead to the condition.

Another recent study on the topic

Other research has identified that Parkinson’s leaves a kind of “genetic signature” on some memory T cells in the body. Although they do not know exactly what causes this disease, the discovery could help in early diagnosis and the development of new treatments.

The study conducted by researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, in California (USA), indicates that T cells play a crucial role in the progression of the disease. Previously, it was known that the disease progresses as dopamine producers die. The cause of this death is unknown, but some clues can help with treatments.

Dead dopamine-producing neurons contain large amounts of a damaged protein known as alpha-synuclein. This new study says that the accumulation of this protein can cause the death of neurons and more than that: Parkinson’s patients have memory T cells that target alpha-synuclein proteins. Basically, the function of these cells is to act against antigens that the body has had contact with previously. Check out the complete research in the The Utopian report.

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