In Lay Terms

Parkinson’s disease is a complex, neurodegenerative disease that progressively affects almost all aspects of a person’s life.  The McCamish Parkinson’s Disease Innovation Program seeks to understand, treat, and ultimately cure Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders through basic science, engineering and technology, and data and machine learning.

Basic Science?  Although there is a vibrant scientific national and international community of researchers focused on Parkinson’s disease, there is still a lot we do not understand about what Parkinson’s disease is, how it affects multiple parts of the brain, and how the disease progresses. Without a clearer understanding of these things, progress in treating, and ultimately curing, people with Parkinson’s disease is limited.

Engineering and Technology? The tools for measuring and manipulating various aspects of the brain are rapidly expanding, as are the tools for measuring and shaping the way we move through and sense our environment, and do complicated things like make decisions and remember things, as we go about our daily lives. Engineering and technology play an important role in all aspects of the research, from basic understanding, to treatment, and cure.

Data and Machine Learning? With the rapid expansion of tools and devices for measuring things inside and outside our bodies comes the overwhelming flood of information and data that is affecting almost all aspects of our modern lives.   Scientists who specialize in developing powerful tools for analyzing data can help us make sense of all of this, and discover patterns in things like brain activity and body movement, down to genetic profiles and drug discovery.