January 20, 2023

Research Explores if Artificial Intelligence Can Support Safer Prescribing for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Epilepsy 

Article published by University of Plymouth


Researchers at the University of Plymouth are launching a study to explore whether artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can be used to support safer prescribing for older adults with intellectual disabilities and epilepsy. 

The research, supported by the Bailey Thomas Charitable Fund, will fund the development of an AI-driven decision support tool. 

The team is planning to use the technology to identify clinical factors that contribute to Drug Burden Index (DBI) scores, which defines the functional impact of a medicine based upon its anticholinergic and sedative properties. 

They will also look at how the medicines interact with each other, and which factors influence the DBI scores the most. 

With this information, the team hope to be able to produce a tool that will support GPs prescribing for older adults with intellectual disabilities and epilepsy. They will also assess the anticholinergic status of the patient and then safely optimize their medication accordingly. 

Rohit Shankar MBE, Professor of Neuropsychiatry in the Peninsula Medical School, and Shangming Zhou, Professor of e-Health in the Centre for Health Technology, are leading the project. 

Assisted by Professor of Medical Statistics Victoria Allgar, this project will use REDCap cloud technology to collect patient data including demographics, levels of intellectual disability, genetic variants, epilepsy history, seizure profile, all prescribed medication, and medical co-morbidities.

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