The Oxford Quantification in Parkinsonism (OxQUIP) project
Project researcher: Dr Max Brzezicki, Academic Foundation Programme
I was involved in the Oxford Quantification in Parkinsonism (OxQUIP) project. My aim was to design a tool that can provide an objective way of diagnosing and monitoring symptoms in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP– a rare movement disorder). We used a comprehensive battery of movement, eye tracking and cognitive tests to measure a whole spectrum of parkinsonian symptoms, for five visits, at three-monthly intervals.
I focused on a tablet-based battery of objective cognitive tests. I used my analytical thinking and coding skills (Python, matplotlib, seaborne) to study the data and design a computational algorithm that extracted a unique pattern of “how” the tasks were solved. This pattern and its associated computerised “score” led to a rapid increase in diagnostic accuracy and provided granular tracking level for PSP patients (better than currently available CSF studies, MRI morphometry).
I saw that my analytical model picked up an early signal of the disease that was elusive to conventional scales and questionnaires used in movement disorder clinic.
During my AFP I co-authored a few chapters on digital phenotyping in Parkinsonism and the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on eye movements. My findings have been published in MDS (Movement Disorders Society) Journal.