Patients Know Best has been chosen to provide the patient-powered research platform for a large, pan-Europe wide study into gait and balance control amongst older adults and people with Neurodegenerative disease (such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia).
Part of an £3.2m EU-funded Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, the Keep Control study seeks to better understand how gait and balance problems amongst older people with and without neurodegenerative diseases can be identified, treated – and better controlled.
PKB will enable hospitals, universities and businesses from across from seven European countries to collaborate and share their knowledge and research resources. The Keep Control network also aims to directly help Parkinson’s patients better manage their conditions by providing them with a Patients Know Best account.
Prof. Walter Maetzler, scientific coordinator for Keep Control and deputy head of neurology, Kiel University, Germany said:
“Not only can gait and balance problems cause life-threatening falls amongst people with neurodegenerative disorders, they’re also related to a loss of independence and mobility – and connected to a person’s overall wellbeing. This is why it’s such an important area of study.”
“When patients are owners of their own data, researchers can design clinical trials very differently – they can be much easier, much cheaper and be far more effective,” he said.
The Keep Control project will involve 12 doctoral researchers across Europe all researching different areas of gait and balance. PKB is being used to collect this research and analyse it on a mass scale after three years – once the project concludes.
In the UK, Newcastle University will be pioneering new approaches to detect early changes in gait control through data collected using wearable sensors recording small changes in a patient’s gait control.
Prof. Lynn Rochester from the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University said:
“We are still learning about gait control – the optimal tools to use – and what they can tell us about the brain. It’s very early days but we’re delighted to be part of this study. Our hope is that together, we’re going to be able to identify early signifiers of gait control loss – so we can help to identify people early, inform therapies through enhanced diagnosis and at all stages of their condition and use gait measures to predict risk.”
Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO and founder of Patients Know Best said:
“At Patients Know Best, we have a strong track record of working with universities to help researchers better understand how to improve care and treatment.”
“We are proud to have been chosen for Dr Maetzler’s important study. Keep Control is an excellent example of how working together across Europe can help us improve our knowledge and so help the lives of patients all over the world.”