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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
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Machine learnings has potential to assist with diagnosis in Parkinsonian syndromes

August 27, 2023

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — Parkinsonian syndromes diagnosis was assisted by machine learning reliably in international study released today at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders® in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Parkinsonian syndromes — multiple systems atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy — present with similar clinical symptoms as Parkinson’s disease but are distinct diseases with available corresponding therapies. In this study, PET scans were leveraged to train a machine learning algorithm to differentiate the scans of patients with varying Parkinsonian syndromes.  The algorithm was then successfully tested in two populations, one in the United States and one in Slovenia. 

“It’s become quite clear that there are reproducible differences in overall patterns of FDG-PET between parkinsonian syndromes, and that these changes can be seen very early in the disease process,” said Dr. Ronald Postuma, Montreal Neurological Institute, “One of the difficulties in the field is the number of different patterns that have been described, which are often partially overlapping. This overlap suggests that machine learning procedures may be very useful, as they do not necessarily need to prespecify a specific pattern. The diagnostic performance here, although not perfect, is nonetheless quite encouraging, and equals that of many other biomarker/ imaging based diagnostic tools.” 

Full text of this abstract will be available at (Reference #1599) after the embargo lifts August 27, 2023, 08:00 CEST. 

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About the 2023 MDS International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders®:  
The MDS International Congress is the premiere annual event to advance the clinical and scientific discipline of Movement Disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. Convening thousands of leading clinicians, scientists and other health professionals from around the globe, the International Congress will introduce more than 1,800 scientific abstracts and provide a forum for education and collaboration on latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options. 

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society: 
The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society® (MDS), an international society of more than 11,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit

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