Researcher Bio – Megan Courtman

Megan Courtman explains her work in this 25m video to apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to search for patterns that may indicate Parkinson’s in an NHS database of anonymised CT and MRI scans of brains.

The possibility of drugs that can arrest progression underlines the need to diagnose Parkinson’s earlier than is possible by today’s observational methods of movement disorder. (DAT scans are often taken for confirmation of diagnosis, but are not a practical screening method).

Her aim is contribute to the search for biomarkers that may be evident in the “prodromal”  stage before movement disorders become evident and by which time significant damage has already been done.

Of topical note is that these CT and MRI scans are sourced from Acute Hospital Trusts in the southwest. MRI and CT scans are used routinely in A&E admissions involving head trauma. Several thousand scans have been made available of anonymised patients who were subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and for a control group known not to be affected.