Using AI to support treatment decisions in MS

Dr. Douglas Arnold receives AI & MS Discovery Grant

Dr. Douglas Arnold is the recipient of the $1 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) & MS Discovery Grant supported by TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment.

Dr. Arnold and his research team at The Neuro aim to develop a clinical decision support tool using AI to help multiple sclerosis (MS) physicians and people living with MS make better, more personalized treatment decisions by providing reliable predictions of the individual’s disease course, and how they are likely to respond to different types of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).

“We are entering a new era in which 'Big Data' and increasing computer power are making it possible to develop artificial intelligence methods capable of predicting how individual MS patients will do in the future and how they will respond to specific treatments. Clinicians cannot make such predictions at present. Integrating AI into the clinic will allow clinicians to adapt treatments to each individual patient’s unique circumstances, to help ensure a better outcome. We are very grateful to the MS Society and the TD Bank Group for their commitment to support this effort,” says Dr. Arnold.

The research project will use an AI approach called ‘deep learning’ and clinical and imaging data collected from over 10,000 people with MS who participated in clinical trials over the last 20 years to develop an evidence-based clinical decision support tool. The tool aims to provide predictions on future lesion formation as viewed by MRI, future relapses, and future increases in disability, along with a measure of how certain one can be about these predictions. By understanding the likelihood of response to various DMTs, patients and clinicians can make more informed decisions early in the disease about the most effective treatments, which has the potential to change the trajectory of their disease.

About the grant

The AI & MS Discovery Grant program was launched in 2019 with the generous contribution of TD, to help seek transformative ideas that leverage existing clinical and patient data and potential of AI to optimize treatment and prognosis for people living with MS.

"Through the TD Ready Commitment, our global corporate citizenship platform, TD is proud to support the MS Society and this grant to leverage technology in research and help improve health outcomes and quality of life for thousands of Canadians living with MS. Congratulations to Dr. Arnold on being awarded the AI & MS Discovery Grant. We look forward to the development of the clinical decision tool that will support more personalized care and open up new treatments to tackle this disease," says Andrea Barrack, global head, sustainability and corporate citizenship, TD Bank Group.

“This is an exciting project that focuses on harnessing state of the art technology in AI to support evidence-based decisions for both the clinician and the person living with MS,” says Dr. Pamela Valentine, president and CEO, MS Society of Canada. “This technology has the potential to empower both MS physicians and people with MS in shared decision making about the best treatment choices earlier in the course of the disease in the hopes of achieving better health outcomes for the person living with MS.”

Read the original announcement here.



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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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