This year, I joined 67 other Disney runners — nearly twice as many as last year — who collectively raised $67,000 (and counting!) for PD research. Our team included 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon runners, plus a few self-professed "crazies" (myself included) who tackled the Dopey Challenge (running all four events on consecutive days) or the Goofy Challenge (running the half and full marathon on back-to-back days).

Each of the four races starts well before sunrise and truly captures the Disney experience! Runners take off from the Epcot theme park and make their way through the Disney properties. It doesn't matter who you are or how old you may be — turning that corner and running toward the iconic Cinderella's Castle is a big dose of Disney magic.

On Saturday, I had the privilege of running the half marathon with some pretty inspiring people, including three Team Fox members who live with PD — Jimmy Choi, Joyce Chu and Sabrina Soto Molina. Another fierce Fox runner was Lauren Everly, who completed the half with her mother. Together, they returned to a place of many family memories in honor of their beloved father and husband, Lew Everly.

Sunday brought the marathon. For some, their first and only event, for me, the grand Dopey finale! At mile 22 I hit a wall. It was hot and humid and I had already run 44.4 miles since the first event. Then I looked down at my jersey and thought about why I run with Team Fox: my grandpa, the Ryans, the Chois, Papa Paddock. I thought about how John Lipp, diagnosed with PD in June 2015, was on the course with me, rocking his first marathon. And I knew I could reach that finish line. Not long after I got my second wind, I heard Team Fox staffers Stephanie Paddock and Liz Diemer, quite possibly the best cheerleaders anyone could ask for. Their energy was infectious and it carried me all the way to the end of my 48.6-mile journey.

After the finish line, I went back to the course to cheer on my teammates. Seeing my fellow Team Fox members rounding that final corner reminded me that we are all in this together and we WILL find a cure. I am already counting down the days until I can represent Team Fox at the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2017 because Disney brings the Team Fox family together.

Editor's Note: Seth Manthey is a Team Fox Mentor who will be joining the MJFF Staff in February 2016. We are thrilled to have him join the team. To learn more about the Disney Marathon Weekend and other Team Fox athletic events visit the athlete landing page.

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Bringing the Team Fox Family Together with Some Disney Magic

Like Walt Disney’s beginning, my adventures with Team Fox also started with a mouse. In 2014, I first laced up my shoes for Team Fox and ran the Walt Disney World Marathon in memory of my grandfather, who lived with Parkinson’s disease (PD) for 25 years.

This year, I joined 67 other Disney runners — nearly twice as many as last year — who collectively raised $67,000 (and counting!) for PD research. Our team included 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon runners, plus a few self-professed “crazies” (myself included) who tackled the Dopey Challenge (running all four events on consecutive days) or the Goofy Challenge (running the half and full marathon on back-to-back days).

Each of the four races starts well before sunrise and truly captures the Disney experience! Runners take off from the Epcot theme park and make their way through the Disney properties. It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you may be — turning that corner and running toward the iconic Cinderella’s Castle is a big dose of Disney magic.

On Saturday, I had the privilege of running the half marathon with some pretty inspiring people, including three Team Fox members who live with PD — Jimmy Choi, Joyce Chu and Sabrina Soto Molina. Another fierce Fox runner was Lauren Everly, who completed the half with her mother. Together, they returned to a place of many family memories in honor of their beloved father and husband, Lew Everly.

Sunday brought the marathon. For some, their first and only event, for me, the grand Dopey finale! At mile 22 I hit a wall. It was hot and humid and I had already run 44.4 miles since the first event. Then I looked down at my jersey and thought about why I run with Team Fox: my grandpa, the Ryans, the Chois, Papa Paddock. I thought about how John Lipp, diagnosed with PD in June 2015, was on the course with me, rocking his first marathon. And I knew I could reach that finish line. Not long after I got my second wind, I heard Team Fox staffers Stephanie Paddock and Liz Diemer, quite possibly the best cheerleaders anyone could ask for. Their energy was infectious and it carried me all the way to the end of my 48.6-mile journey.

After the finish line, I went back to the course to cheer on my teammates. Seeing my fellow Team Fox members rounding that final corner reminded me that we are all in this together and we WILL find a cure. I am already counting down the days until I can represent Team Fox at the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2017 because Disney brings the Team Fox family together.

Editor’s Note: Seth Manthey is a Team Fox Mentor who will be joining the MJFF Staff in February 2016. We are thrilled to have him join the team. To learn more about the Disney Marathon Weekend and other Team Fox athletic events visit the athlete landing page.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

Ask the MD: Exercise and Parkinson’s

By Rachel Dolhun, MD

Regular exercise is important for anyone and may be especially important for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). In this video, I discuss the benefits of physical activity, give tips on starting and maintaining a workout regimen, and cover the latest research on exercise’s effect on PD.

Having a hard time getting motivated to exercise and keep up activities? Apathy is a symptom of Parkinson’s disease, and I talk about strategies to overcome these feelings in another recent “Ask the MD” blog post.

Visit the “Ask the MD” webpage regularly for information on Parkinson’s and related topics. The blog and video series is an educational resource for people with PD and their loved ones who are navigating life with Parkinson’s.

about or watch a webinar on exercise and Parkinson’s.

The “Ask the MD” series is supported by Acorda Therapeutics. While our generous sponsors make the “Ask the MD” program possible, their support does not influence MJFF’s content or perspective.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

Podcast: What Causes Dyskinesia?

By Maggie McGuire Kuhl

Parkinson’s medications are working to correct slowness and rigidity, but sometimes they can cause too much motion. The involuntary, jerky movements often seen with long-term disease and use of Parkinson’s medications are called dyskinesia.

In our latest podcast Christopher Bishop, PhD, of Binghamton University, discusses what may cause dyskinesia with medication use.

“There are two sides to neuroplasticity in the brain. Our brain has this amazing capacity to compensate for insult and injury, but there’s a tipping point, and with dyskinesia in particular we believe that that positive neuroplasticity shifts to become aberrant neuroplasticity so that when we begin to supply the brain with exogenous compounds like dopamine agonists and especially levodopa, then the response shifts from improving poor movements to producing hyperkinetic movements like dyskinesia,” says Dr. Bishop.

His research is targeting the serotonin system to control dyskinesia.

Hear more expert discussion and ask your questions on dyskinesia in our Thursday, January 21 webinar. Dr. Bishop will join a clinician treating people with Parkinson’s and a person diagnosed with the disease.

Register for the webinar today. Watch previous Third Thursdays Webinars at www.michaeljfox.org/webinars.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

Alabama Parkinson’s Fighter Walk

The Parkinson’s Association of Alabama is excited to announce that the The Alabama Parkinson’s Fighter Walk is March 5, 2016 @ 9 am at the Samford University Track on Lakeshore Parkway in Homewood, AL. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Vendors will be on-site to provide health information. A Silent Auction will be held prior to start of the walk (beginning at 8:00am) with highest bidders announced after the walk. Net proceeds raised from the walk & silent auction will go to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for Parkinson’s research.

We encourage PD patients, caregivers, and loved ones to attend. To register online or obtain additional information about this great event, visit: ALABAMA PARKINSON’S FIGHTER WALK.

Unlikely Gadget Tackles Tremor

By Allyse Falce

A new glove designed with mechanical gyroscopes could control tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

“Gyroscopes are like spinning tops: they always try to stay upright,” said Faii Ong, creator of the glove, in MIT Technology Review. When the glove is turned on, the gyroscope tries to right itself and pushes back against a user’s hand movements, “thereby dampening any tremors in the wearer’s hand.”

Ong came up with the idea for the device, called GyroGlove, when he was a medical student caring for a woman with PD. After watching the woman struggle to eat a bowl of soup, Ong decided to search for a solution to the involuntary tremors that make it difficult for people with PD to perform daily tasks, and sometimes lead to self-consciousness and isolation. The glove, which is still in the prototype stage, could help people with Parkinson’s overcome these challenges and improve overall wellness.

The glove “uses a miniature, dynamically adjustable gyroscope, which sits on the back of the hand, within a plastic casing attached to the glove’s material,” explains MIT Technology Review. “When the device is switched on, the battery-powered gyroscope whirs to life.”

Sarah Webb, founder of the South London Younger Parkinson’s Network, explained GyroGlove’s potential to MIT Technology Review. “People with Parkinson’s take a cocktail of drugs daily, which over time won’t be so effective. The GyroGlove is an exciting and a completely different concept: something we can wear, something we can feel the benefits of immediately and something which will make our lives easier and allow us to get on with our daily lives.”

Ong and his team have a few refinements to make to the size of the glove and the noise the gyroscope emits, but are hopeful that it will reach the United Kingdom market before September.

Listen to a podcast about another product working to help people with PD manage tremor.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

Exercise to Defeat Parkinson's, and his advice for new members interested in getting involved with Team Fox in 2016:

1. What motivated you to organize Exercise to Defeat Parkinson's and get involved with Team Fox?

A few years ago, I began searching the Team Fox website for an exercise-based fundraising event to join. I found a number of great events, only to discover that the date, the location or the type of exercise didn't work for me. I thought that others might be having the same problem, and that motivated me to create Exercise to Defeat Parkinson's.

2. Tell us about Exercise to Defeat Parkinson's?

Exercise to Defeat Parkinson's enables participants to customize the event to match their personal preferences. As the name suggests, participants raise money for PD research by setting and achieving exercise goals, and enlisting others to support their efforts. What's different is that you get to choose the type of exercise, the time and the place that works best for you. Think of it as your own personalized Team Fox event, without having to invest the time and effort required to create one. You simply complete the "Join the Team" process, set your goal and go for it! To see how it works, go to ExerciseToDefeatParkinsons.org

3. What role has your event played in your ability to get involved with Team Fox and make a difference?

Through our involvement with our Team Fox events, my wife Elaine and I have made new friends, been touched by the generosity of others, been inspired by the knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm of the Team Fox/MJFF staff and experienced the satisfaction of raising more than $18,000 (and counting) for PD research!

4. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting involved with Team Fox?

When people learn that PD is a part of your life or that you have PD and ask how they can help, consider responding: "I'm raising money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund Parkinson's disease research, and I would greatly appreciate your support." Even if fundraising is outside your comfort zone — like it is for many — stretch yourself and do it anyway. You will never regret it, and may be surprised by the generosity that is returned!

Inspired to join in? Consider hosting your own event, applying to join an upcoming race or supporting an event in your area!

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How One Team Fox Member is Defeating Parkinson’s through Exercise

By Alexandra Woodhouse

It’s the start of a new year, and Team Fox members are more driven than ever to make 2016 count. We sat down with Tom Fulmer to learn more about his event focused on customizable exercise experiences, Exercise to Defeat Parkinson’s, and his advice for new members interested in getting involved with Team Fox in 2016:

1. What motivated you to organize Exercise to Defeat Parkinson’s and get involved with Team Fox?

A few years ago, I began searching the Team Fox website for an exercise-based fundraising event to join. I found a number of great events, only to discover that the date, the location or the type of exercise didn’t work for me. I thought that others might be having the same problem, and that motivated me to create Exercise to Defeat Parkinson’s.

2. Tell us about Exercise to Defeat Parkinson’s?

Exercise to Defeat Parkinson’s enables participants to customize the event to match their personal preferences. As the name suggests, participants raise money for PD research by setting and achieving exercise goals, and enlisting others to support their efforts. What’s different is that you get to choose the type of exercise, the time and the place that works best for you. Think of it as your own personalized Team Fox event, without having to invest the time and effort required to create one. You simply complete the “Join the Team” process, set your goal and go for it! To see how it works, go to ExerciseToDefeatParkinsons.org

3. What role has your event played in your ability to get involved with Team Fox and make a difference?

Through our involvement with our Team Fox events, my wife Elaine and I have made new friends, been touched by the generosity of others, been inspired by the knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm of the Team Fox/MJFF staff and experienced the satisfaction of raising more than $18,000 (and counting) for PD research!

4. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting involved with Team Fox?

When people learn that PD is a part of your life or that you have PD and ask how they can help, consider responding: “I’m raising money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund Parkinson’s disease research, and I would greatly appreciate your support.” Even if fundraising is outside your comfort zone — like it is for many — stretch yourself and do it anyway. You will never regret it, and may be surprised by the generosity that is returned!

Inspired to join in? Consider hosting your own event, applying to join an upcoming race or supporting an event in your area!

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

An unbelievable testament to the power of this dedicated Team Fox community, the following highlights show the collective impact of this group of inspired, creative and passionate team. There is still much work to be done in our mission to cure Parkinson's, but let's reflect at how you helped lay the groundwork for us to hit the ground even harder in 2016.

Team Fox 2015 by the numbers:

  • $849,473: The highest amount fundraised by one individual in 2015. First-time marathoner Andrew Creighton, who lives with Parkinson's, set the bar astronomically high with his NYC Marathon efforts in November.
  • $546,426: The total raised by the 8th Annual New England Parkinson's Ride, earning the Woods family the number one spot (once again!) on Team Fox's list of Top 2015 Fundraisers. This amount far surpasses the Ride's 2014 record of $421,415 as the largest amount ever raised by a single Team Fox event in one calendar year.
  • 14,000: The number of miles travelled by MJFF staffer Sam Fox during his 103-day Tour de Fox journey across the United States. In addition to biking and hiking cross-country, Sam also climbed to the tallest peak in each of the lower 48 states. With members of the Parkinson's community joining in for various athletic stages and celebrations along the way, Tour de Fox collectively raised over $2.4 million.
  • 3,320: The number of active Team Fox members who fundraised in 2015. Within this group, 537 hosted a unique create-your-own event. From bar mitzvah projects to comedy nights, there was no shortage of creativity this year!
  • 562: The number of Team Fox athletes who proudly ran, biked and swam in one of 15 sponsored athletic events including the Marine Corps Marathon, Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and NYC Half Marathon.
  • 63: The number of creative Back to the Future fundraisers to celebrate Marty McFly's futuristic arrival on October 21, 2015. From large-scale outdoor film screenings to a flashmob-inspired "Million Marty March," film fans around the world took advantage of this unique opportunity to have fun while doing good.
  • 25: The number of Team Fox members who took on the Rock the Ridge 50-mile Endurance Challenge in May. While many team members teamed up to split the mileage, six members completed the full 50-miles within the 24-hour limit!
  • 11: The number of create-your-own events that raised over $100,000 for Team Fox in 2015. From guest bartending competitions (Tips for Parkinson's) to southern boot stompin' bonanzas (Kickin' Parkinson's), these 11 events collectively raised $2.6 million to help speed a cure.

But that's not all! Throughout the course of the year, you also looked during your truly foxy fundraisers. Take a look at the below gallery to see how 2015 was full of that infectious Team Fox spirit.

View Gallery

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Team Fox Year in Review: 2015

By Liz Diemer

New milestones were crossed and fundraising records were broken — 2015 was a year Team Fox will always remember. In addition to welcoming our largest pool of active members to date, this outstanding community collectively raised more than $11.5 million, 100 percent of which is going directly toward the Foundation’s research efforts to speed a cure for Parkinson’s.

An unbelievable testament to the power of this dedicated Team Fox community, the following highlights show the collective impact of this group of inspired, creative and passionate team. There is still much work to be done in our mission to cure Parkinson’s, but let’s reflect at how you helped lay the groundwork for us to hit the ground even harder in 2016.

Team Fox 2015 by the numbers:

  • $849,473: The highest amount fundraised by one individual in 2015. First-time marathoner Andrew Creighton, who lives with Parkinson’s, set the bar astronomically high with his NYC Marathon efforts in November.
  • $546,426: The total raised by the 8th Annual New England Parkinson’s Ride, earning the Woods family the number one spot (once again!) on Team Fox’s list of Top 2015 Fundraisers. This amount far surpasses the Ride’s 2014 record of $421,415 as the largest amount ever raised by a single Team Fox event in one calendar year.
  • 14,000: The number of miles travelled by MJFF staffer Sam Fox during his 103-day Tour de Fox journey across the United States. In addition to biking and hiking cross-country, Sam also climbed to the tallest peak in each of the lower 48 states. With members of the Parkinson’s community joining in for various athletic stages and celebrations along the way, Tour de Fox collectively raised over $2.4 million.
  • 3,320: The number of active Team Fox members who fundraised in 2015. Within this group, 537 hosted a unique create-your-own event. From bar mitzvah projects to comedy nights, there was no shortage of creativity this year!
  • 562: The number of Team Fox athletes who proudly ran, biked and swam in one of 15 sponsored athletic events including the Marine Corps Marathon, Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and NYC Half Marathon.
  • 63: The number of creative Back to the Future fundraisers to celebrate Marty McFly’s futuristic arrival on October 21, 2015. From large-scale outdoor film screenings to a flashmob-inspired “Million Marty March,” film fans around the world took advantage of this unique opportunity to have fun while doing good.
  • 25: The number of Team Fox members who took on the Rock the Ridge 50-mile Endurance Challenge in May. While many team members teamed up to split the mileage, six members completed the full 50-miles within the 24-hour limit!
  • 11: The number of create-your-own events that raised over $100,000 for Team Fox in 2015. From guest bartending competitions (Tips for Parkinson’s) to southern boot stompin’ bonanzas (Kickin’ Parkinson’s), these 11 events collectively raised $2.6 million to help speed a cure.

But that’s not all! Throughout the course of the year, you also looked during your truly foxy fundraisers. Take a look at the below gallery to see how 2015 was full of that infectious Team Fox spirit.

View Gallery

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

Ask the MD: Apathy and Parkinson’s Disease

By Rachel Dolhun, MD

This time of year everyone and everything seems to be focused on exercise as part of a New Year’s resolution. It can be hard for anyone to get and stay motivated, but what if it seems nearly impossible? What if you have no get-up-and-go, or you’re simply not interested? You may be experiencing apathy.

Apathy Is a Non-motor Symptom of Parkinson’s Disease

Apathy causes a general lack of motivation and interest, as well as a dampening of emotional expression. Hobbies and social activities may no longer bring enjoyment, and daily routines may require more energy. Basic tasks may be difficult to start and complete.

Apathy can be misinterpreted as laziness, poor initiative or depression. And while it oftentimes is a feature of depression, apathy may occur on its own in Parkinson’s.

This symptom affects up to 40 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and is likely due, at least in part, to lack of the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) dopamine. It can impact anyone at any time in the course of their disease, but those with depression, anxiety or impaired cognition (memory and/or thinking abilities) are more susceptible. Older age and more severe motor symptoms also seem to put people at higher risk of developing apathy.

Apathy Has Many Potential Consequences

Apathy can have wide-ranging effects. For the individual experiencing it, apathy may lead to less physical activity (which can worsen already impaired mobility) and fewer social interactions (which could lead to depressive symptoms). Apathy has also been shown to correlate with a poorer adherence to medication regimens and/or response to treatment (as after deep brain stimulation surgery, for example).

The friends and family of someone with apathy are also impacted — relationships may be stressed as loved ones take on more caregiving efforts.

Treatment of Apathy Focuses on Behavioral Adjustments

People with apathy usually don’t realize there is a problem. Instead, friends and family notice behavior or personality changes and bring these to the doctor’s attention. It’s important to do so because the physician can do tests and have you fill out questionnaires to figure out if the symptoms are due to apathy, depression and/or another medical condition.

If the diagnosis of apathy is confirmed, lifestyle adjustments may be recommended:

  • Maintain a regular sleep and wake schedule. Go to bed and get out of bed at the same time each day. If you snore loudly, act out your dreams, or feel excessively sleepy during the day, ask your doctor if you need a sleep evaluation.
  • Create a schedule that incorporates physical, social and cognitive (memory and thinking) activities. List what you will do each day and at what time.
  • Set personal goals. Start small, with objectives you are confident you can achieve. As you reach these, you will set and accomplish bigger goals. Involve others at every step of this process — this will strengthen existing bonds and build new relationships.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re tired and unmotivated. It sounds counterintuitive, but exercise is actually helpful for apathy. Listen to your body and know your limits (i.e., stop if you feel pain, don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion, etc.) but try to do something active every day — a short walk around the block or, if you have poor balance, stretching exercises on the floor. You might even want to look into group exercise classes — many are offered specifically for people with Parkinson’s or older adults.

Medication options to treat apathy are, unfortunately, limited. Increasing dopamine replacement therapies (dopamine agonists and/or levodopa) is beneficial in some people but, of course, must be done carefully. Other drugs, including those used for dementia (such as rivastigmine, or Exelon) and depression (namely if the person is depressed) can be helpful in individual cases. All medications work best in conjunction with the above behavioral adjustments.

More Research Needed on Apathy

Clinical trials to test therapies for apathy are difficult to design and complete mainly because apathy can be hard to separate from other conditions. Additionally, the diagnosis of apathy relies on patients reporting their own symptoms and doctors doing tests to rule out other diseases (i.e., there is no blood or other test to make a specific diagnosis of apathy).

Clinical trials to date have shown that both dopamine agonists (such as rotigotine, or Neupro) and non-dopaminergic medications (like rasagiline, or Azilect) can be helpful in some people. Additionally, small studies of non-pharmacologic interventions — exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (which delivers magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain) — have shown an improvement in apathy. Further research is needed, though, to gain a better understanding of apathy and develop better treatments to target it.

Read one woman’s blog post about apathy.

The “Ask the MD” series is supported by Acorda Therapeutics. While our generous sponsors make the “Ask the MD” program possible, their support does not influence MJFF’s content or perspective.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog

In parallel to supporting the development of new therapies, MJFF works to speed research by improving the processes and systems we use to understand this disease and test new treatments. Toward that goal, in August 2014 we launched an ongoing data science partnership with Intel to develop platforms for the storage of large volumes of patient-generated data and algorithms to glean insights from this data. on our partnership with Intel.

This latest announcement unites these partners to investigate how clinical trials can use "big data" analysis to learn more about PD and measure the impact of therapies.

A subset of volunteers in the Phase III Cynapsus safety study (there is a separate Phase III efficacy study) will take part in the data analytics sub-study. Through a wearable device and the Fox Insight smartphone application (developed by MJFF and Intel), participants will contribute data on movement and medication effect. The data will be securely collected, de-identified and evaluated by Intel using advanced analytics, then stored in a cloud platform that will allow researchers to potentially gain insights into Parkinson's disease, "off" episodes, and the efficacy of the Cynapsus drug (called APL-130277).

This is a proof-of-concept study testing feasibility and utility. Is it possible to capture this data easily? What can we learn from its analysis?

"Clinical studies are the most expensive and time-consuming stages of drug development. Data science approaches hold the potential to accelerate the pace of progress by allowing drug developers to objectively gather and analyze unprecedented volumes of data and more quickly reveal insights about a potential new treatment. We're optimistic about the potential of this technology to help speed breakthroughs patients need," said MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD.

Albert Agro, PhD, chief medical officer of Cynapsus, said, "The data analytics capabilities enabled by Intel and The Michael J. Fox Foundation will allow us to better evaluate how APL-130277 is helping patients. As our Phase 3 clinical trials progress and we move toward gaining FDA approval of APL-130277, we plan to work closely with Intel and The Michael J. Fox Foundation to use this technology to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson's disease."

Patients interested in participating in Parkinson's clinical trials such as Cynapsus' ongoing APL-130277 Phase III efficacy and safety studies or other technology-enabled studies can register with MJFF's online study matching tool Fox Trial Finder at www.foxtrialfinder.org.

about this news in the Financial Times.

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Could Data from Smart Devices Tell Us if a Drug Is Working?

By Maggie McGuire Kuhl

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is uniting two of its longtime partners, Cynapsus Therapeutics and Intel Corporation, in a pilot incorporating wearable devices and “big data” approaches into a clinical trial of a drug that may help patients return to “on” (when symptoms are well managed) from an “off” state when medications stop working.

Cynapsus is in Phase III testing – the final stage before applying for FDA approval – of its thin-film, under-the-tongue strip of apomorphine for “off” rescue. MJFF funded Phases I and II. about the drug and its potential for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

In parallel to supporting the development of new therapies, MJFF works to speed research by improving the processes and systems we use to understand this disease and test new treatments. Toward that goal, in August 2014 we launched an ongoing data science partnership with Intel to develop platforms for the storage of large volumes of patient-generated data and algorithms to glean insights from this data. on our partnership with Intel.

This latest announcement unites these partners to investigate how clinical trials can use “big data” analysis to learn more about PD and measure the impact of therapies.

A subset of volunteers in the Phase III Cynapsus safety study (there is a separate Phase III efficacy study) will take part in the data analytics sub-study. Through a wearable device and the Fox Insight smartphone application (developed by MJFF and Intel), participants will contribute data on movement and medication effect. The data will be securely collected, de-identified and evaluated by Intel using advanced analytics, then stored in a cloud platform that will allow researchers to potentially gain insights into Parkinson’s disease, “off” episodes, and the efficacy of the Cynapsus drug (called APL-130277).

This is a proof-of-concept study testing feasibility and utility. Is it possible to capture this data easily? What can we learn from its analysis?

“Clinical studies are the most expensive and time-consuming stages of drug development. Data science approaches hold the potential to accelerate the pace of progress by allowing drug developers to objectively gather and analyze unprecedented volumes of data and more quickly reveal insights about a potential new treatment. We’re optimistic about the potential of this technology to help speed breakthroughs patients need,” said MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD.

Albert Agro, PhD, chief medical officer of Cynapsus, said, “The data analytics capabilities enabled by Intel and The Michael J. Fox Foundation will allow us to better evaluate how APL-130277 is helping patients. As our Phase 3 clinical trials progress and we move toward gaining FDA approval of APL-130277, we plan to work closely with Intel and The Michael J. Fox Foundation to use this technology to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

Patients interested in participating in Parkinson’s clinical trials such as Cynapsus’ ongoing APL-130277 Phase III efficacy and safety studies or other technology-enabled studies can register with MJFF’s online study matching tool Fox Trial Finder at www.foxtrialfinder.org.

about this news in the Financial Times.

Source:: Fox Feed Blog