IIT Guwahati Researchers Develop Algorithm For Early Detection Of Parkinson’s Disease


GUWAHATI: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have unveiled a groundbreaking algorithm named Unique Brain Network Identification Number (UBNIN), aimed at revolutionising the understanding and management of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. In a pioneering study conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), India, the team analysed structural brain MRI scans from 180 Parkinson’s disease patients and 70 healthy individuals.

Employing a network perspective, brain regions were represented as nodes, with connection values based on regional grey matter volume. Through a series of algorithmic steps, these connection values were weighted to generate the unique numerical representation, UBNIN, distinct for each individual brain network.

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Cota Navin Gupta, Assistant Professor at IIT Guwahati's Neural Engineering Lab, described UBNIN as a specialised number encoding unique brain characteristics, offering the ability to reconstruct an individual’s brain network from their UBNIN value. Moreover, PhD Scholar Tanmayee Samantaray highlighted the algorithm's potential for tracking brain plasticity over time, shedding light on neurodegeneration dynamics and disease progression.

The UBNIN algorithm's applications extend beyond Parkinson’s disease, with potential implications for various neurological conditions, including Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and Depression. Its versatility also opens avenues for analysing complex system dynamics in diverse datasets, such as protein and traffic networks.

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Gupta emphasised the algorithm's role as a potential biomarker for distinguishing healthy individuals from those with Parkinson's, offering hope for early detection and personalised treatment strategies. The research, supported by the Ministry of Education doctoral scholarship and the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC Grant), has been published in the journal Brain Sciences, co-authored by Tanmayee Samantaray, Utsav Gupta, Jitender Saini, and Cota Navin Gupta.

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