BGU’S New AI Platform Monitors ALS Symptoms
October 3, 2019
Health Periodical — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has built a new AI platform for observing and foreseeing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. The platform will help physicians and scientists recognize markers for personalized patient care and improve drug development.
Prof. Boaz Lerner of BGU’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Management built the platform, which will at first be used for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and eventually for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative ailments.
“One of the major difficulties of structuring and overseeing clinical preliminaries for ALS is that it is an uncommon disease, and clinical variability makes it difficult to recognize markers for severity,” says Prof. Lerner. “Therefore, following decades of research, there is still no real cure for ALS and a few other challenging neurodegenerative illnesses, including Alzheimer’s.
“Our new technology will more accurately anticipate the progression of the disease, a pivotal element for clinical trials, and better recognize the interrelationships between socioeconomics and other quantifiable elements identified through physical examinations and patient functionality.”
ALS, otherwise called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a lethal neurodegenerative disease that causes the death of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles. This muscle atrophy prompts progressive weakness and loss of motion, trouble in speech, gulping, and breathing. The average mortality rate for individuals who are typically diagnosed between ages 40 to 60 is two to five years from the beginning of symptoms.
ALS population heterogeneity complicates research and drug development due to symptom variability at onset, disease progression rates and patterns, and survival statistics. This variability makes it hard to foresee the disease progression rates and pattern for people.
Having a dependable personalized prediction platform could improve patient care and personal satisfaction for some patients and their caregivers. The new AI platform could likewise improve the clinical trial design by identifying markers for various patient sub-populations’ treatment.
The BGU platform integrates statistic and clinical data with AI and data mining algorithms to produce models that can predict the rate and pattern of ALS progression, identify specific lab tests or crucial signs, and stratify comparable sub-groups from the diverse ALS population. The algorithms, and their capacity to anticipate disease progression, will improve as clinical data is included for every patient.