APPLICATIONS NEWS

Systems medicine approach to mental health

5 December 2013



Biomax Informatics AG is to transfer its systems medicine approach from respiratory and chronic diseases to mental health.

The Biomax BioXM Knowledge Management Environment will be used to integrate and explore existing knowledge sources about brain structure and function. This will be extended with information about psychosis and genetic factors derived from the BioLT literature mining software. The results will be combined and with data generated from the METSY project, including brain imaging (combined MRI and PET), metabolite profiling, and clinical data from approximately 500 patients recruited at four sites in Spain, the United Kingdom and Finland.

The resulting network of psychosis-specific knowledge, generated from associations between structures, functions and molecules (genes, proteins, metabolites, etc.), can be overlaid with patient-specific data. The standardisation of information and data provided by the BioXM system enables algorithmic analysis. In particular, the METSY partners will use network inference to identify and evaluate multi-modal blood and neuroimaging biomarkers that could be used to predict and monitor psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, in the context of metabolic diseases. If specific disease-associated patterns are detected in the project, the network can be further explored for potential explanations. After validation, the knowledge base can be used to build a decision support system to bring the results directly into clinical practice.

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