Category Archives: News

Study in twins finds blood protein that may indicate risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash

Study in twins finds blood protein that may indicate risk of Alzheimer’s disease (MRC press release).

Study led by Dr Steven Kiddle of the Bioinformatics core.

Scientists have identified a single blood protein that may indicate the development of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) years before symptoms appear, a disorder that has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

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Could wearing a Fitbit help manage schizophrenia? Gadget warns doctors of changes in sleep patterns that hint at relapse

Credit: Fitbit

Daily Mail quotes Dr Nicholas Meyer.

Schizophrenia sufferers are often unable to recognise when changes in behaviour are about to trigger severe relapses.

And such relapses can be brought on simply by a lack of good-quality sleep.

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Fitbit data could help schizophrenia sufferers avoid relapse

Credit: Fitbit

Wired UK quotes Dr Amos FolarinDr Nicholas Meyer and Dr Richard Dobson.

An early warning system for schizophrenia relapse, using Fitbit data and a smartphone app, could lead to dramatic improvements in treatment.

A group of London-based doctors and software engineers is developing the experimental system at London’s Bioinformatics Core of the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Working from the centre, where clinicians, software engineers and statisticians seek out patterns in vast medical datasets, the team is studying the sleep patterns of schizophrenia patients to develop a possible alert system. “It’s well documented by clinicians that sleep disturbance is one of most highly self-reported factors [prior to a relapse in psychosis],” Amos Folarin, the BRC statistician behind the trial’s SleepSight app, told “But it’s hard to cover objectively.” “Most people use a sleep diary, but that is probably not reliable in populations of people with mental illness,” specialist registrar in psychiatry Dr Nicholas Meyer adds.

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SleepSight has partnered up with Fitbit


SleepSight is a study that aims to detect relapse in Schizophrenia patients using a Fitbit.

The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre Bioinformatics Core has developed a real-time monitoring system in conjunction with CBITS at Northwestern University to track sleep in Schizophrenia patients with the goal of understanding the involvement of sleep in patient relapse events. Patients in the study are given a Fitbit Charge HR and a smartphone to monitor sleep and daily activity. This data is complemented with a daily app-based questionnaire which helps to assess the participants’ perceived symptoms. All data are then uploaded to our servers in real-time for evaluation.

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Photo by Fatos Bytyqi on Unsplash

On the 18th and 19th March we will be hosting a Code4Health event to teach 20 clinicians how to code and develop an ‘app in day’. Such was the enthusiasm among clinicians, we had to add a second day to this one day event.

For more details of the program, see here

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