Episode Summary

Harry’s guest this week, Brian Pepin, says there haven’t really been any advances in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease in a decade. The standard treatment is still the standard treatment—meaning various drugs to replace dopamine in the brain, since the loss of neurons that produce dopamine is one of the hallmarks of the disease. But there has been one important change during that decade. Thanks to new technologies, ranging from wearables like the Apple Watch to sophisticated deep brain implants from companies like Medtronic, we’re now able to gather a lot more data about what’s happening in the daily lives of patients with Parkinson’s, and how the disease is affecting their brain function and their physical movement. Which means there’s now the potential to make much smarter and more timely decisions about how to dose the drugs patients are taking, or whether they should think about joining a clinical trials. Gathering and analyzing that information and feeding it back to patients and their doctors in a user-friendly form is the mission of Rune Labs, where Pepin is CEO. He says we’re on the edge of a new era of “precision neurology,” where data gives doctors the power to predict the course of a disease and muster a meaningful clinical response. And he wants Rune Labs to be at the leading edge of that change.


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