Optimising patient selection for Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s disease using multimodal machine learning

   Researcher Academy

This project is no longer listed on FindAPhD.com and may not be available.

Click here to search FindAPhD.com for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof Mark Humphries  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Parkinson’s disease has debilitating motor symptoms of tremor in the limbs, slowness of movement, and freezing, unable to move. A highly effective treatment is electrical stimulation deep in the motor regions of the midbrain. But surgery for this deep brain stimulation is only offered to around 2% of all patients, and about a quarter of those who receive it have poor outcomes. Optimising the selection of patients for deep brain stimulation will widen access to treatment, improve treatment outcomes, and prevent harm. The goal of this project is to test how fusing clinical data, neuroimaging, and video assessments could optimise the selection of patients. The project will be in collaboration with MachineMedicine (London), a MedTech company specialising in Parkinson’s disease, and the movement disorders clinical team at St George’s Hospital, London. The goal of the collaboration is to build an app used in-clinic for patient selection. MachineMedicine are leading the app development, building on their existing app for capturing movement video in-clinic. The clinical team at St George’s are running a trial of Parkinson’s patients to acquire the essential clinical data on patient symptoms, neuroimaging (including fMRI of spontaneous brain activity), and video capture of movements. In joining this collaboration, the PhD student will be trained in data-science and machinelearning tools, including how to extract and analyse MRI and fMRI data, in fusing data across modalities, and in developing a machine-learning pipeline for predicting patient outcomes. These predictions will be tested against the 12-month follow-up data from the St George’s trial patients. The student’s further training will include a 3-month placement at MachineMedicine, and visits to St George’s clinic.

Computer Science (8) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship provided by the Medical Research Council. If successful, you will receive a stipend (currently £18,622 per year for 2023/24) and tuition fee waiver for 4 years. Successful candidates will also receive an allowance for a laptop, a travel and conference allowance plus allowance for laboratory/PhD running costs.
Click on the institution website link which will redirect you to the MRC AIM website which contains full application information including application forms to complete. Please ensure you submit your application before the deadline of midday (GMT) Friday 12 January 2024 as late applications will not be considered.


Kestenbaum, M.; Ford, B. & Louis, E. D. (2015) Estimating the Proportion of Essential
Tremor and Parkinson's Disease Patients Undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery: FiveYear Data From Columbia University Medical Center (2009-2014). Movement disorders
clinical practice, 2, 384-387
Mahajan, A.; Butala, A.; Okun, M. S.; Mari, Z. & Mills, K. A (2021) Global Variability in
Deep Brain Stimulation Practices for Parkinson's Disease. Frontiers in Human
Neuroscience. 15

Where will I study?