Big data for Lou Gehrig’s disease, MS, HIV, fibromyalgia — from patients themselves: Fellows Friday with Paul Wicks

Originally posted on TED Blog:

PaulWicks_TEDFellow_Blog

TED Fellow Paul Wicks is changing the way patients with chronic health conditions connect with one another, and how they participate in research. Trained as a neuropsychologist — and specializing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease — Paul began using the internet in 2002 to bring together communities of patients with life-changing illnesses. He tells us about how he came to run research and development at PatientsLikeMe, an online network that helps patients learn about their disease, track their health, connect with others and contribute data to science.

Can you tell me more about ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — which is also known as motor neurone disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease — is a rare neurological condition that affects between one and three people out of every hundred thousand. The neurons in the brain and spinal cord wither and die, leading to weakness, muscle wasting and stiffness…

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