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Michael J Fox pledges £100k to UK app for Parkinson’s

Michael J
Fox and his
wife Tracy

BACK To The Future star Michael J Fox has pledged more than £100,000 to a UK university to develop an app that monitors symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The Hollywood actor, 56, founded The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research after he was diagnosed with the disease in 1991. It is backing an app by a University of London researcher.

Prof George Roussos, from Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics, has developed apps that are able to record Parkinson’s sufferers’ symptoms, including tremors, rigidity, and instability.

Patients can record their movements — such as by tapping their smartphone screen to assess their speed reflexes, or by placing the phone on their knee to measure tremors.

The data would then be used to calculate the severity of a symptom.

Prof Roussos said: ‘The toolkit will help us develop clinical measures that could lead to early identification of problems, such as side-effects from medications, and individualised patient profiles that help with personalised assessment.’