What is the Project?
The project NoTremor - Virtual, Physiological and Computational Neuromuscular Models for the Predictive Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease - is a EU FP7-ICT funded project, under the grant agreement no: 610391. The project started on the 1st of January 2014 and will last for 36 months.
NoTremor aims to provide patient specific computational models of the coupled brain and neuromuscular systems that will be subsequently used to improve the quality of analysis, and monitoring the progression of Parkinson’s disease. In particular, it aspires to establish the neglected link between brain modelling and neuromuscular systems that will result in a holistic representation of the physiology for PD patients. A significant breakthrough of NoTremor is that it will go beyond the use of models for only the abstract representation of the physiology or for the matching between theory and clinical measurements.
NoTremor will integrate computational models of the basal ganglia and brainstem into a unique multi-scale parametric computational model that can be subsequently simulated in the NoTremor simulation engine. Furthermore, NoTremor will provide appropriate mechanisms through simulation and hypothesis testing based on the monitoring of the disease, as supported by the novel computational models of NoTremor. A special visual analytics interface will be provided to health professionals to support hypothesis testing and visual inspection of the simulation. Thus, the ultimate challenging use of the NoTremor developments will be the investigation, virtual prototyping and testing using virtual patient models. NoTremor will revolutionize research in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative movement disorders and provide a novel approach for their analysis founded on a solid computational modelling basis that links midbrain degenerations to motor behavior. The computational models will be quantified and validated through test campaigns with a very large cohort of PD patients.
The impact of such a groundbreaking approach is huge and the foundations laid here are expected to result in a widespread adoption of simulation not only in PD, but also in other neurodegenerative diseases, while the developments could be potentially deployed in the clinical environment right after the end of the project. The ultimate challenging use of the NoTremor virtual models will be from the one side clinical decision support and from the other side the investigation, virtual prototyping and modeling of the influence of dopamine levels using virtual patient models.