Using complex networks analysis and social media mining, CNETS researchers from the CASCI team have found that Instagram, a growing social media platform among teens, can be used “to uncover drug-drug interactions (DDI) and adverse drug reactions (ADR).” The work shows that this popular social media service is “a very powerful source of data with great promise in the public-health domain”. The study, “Monitoring Potential Drug Interactions and Reactions via Network Analysis of Instagram User Timelines,” supported by an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health as well as a gift from Persistent Inc., was recently published and presented at the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB 2016), in Hawaii. (PubMed, arXiv). The results are based on almost 7.000 user timelines associated with depression drugs which combined have 5+ million posts.
Prof. Luis Rocha from CNETS at IU Bloomington, Prof. Lang Li from IUPUI Medical School, and Prof. Hagit Shatkay from the University of Delaware have been awarded a four-year, $1.7M grant from NIH/NLM to study the large-scale extraction of drug-Interaction from medical text. Drug-drug interaction (DDI) leads to adverse drug reactions, emergency room visits and hospitalization, thus posing a major challenge to public health. To circumvent risk to patients, and to expedite biomedical research, both clinicians and biologists must have access to all available knowledge about potential DDI, and understand both causes and consequences of such interactions. However, mere identification of interactions does not directly support such understanding, as evidence for DDI varies broadly, from reports of molecular interactions in basic-science journals, to clinical descriptions of adverse-effects in a myriad of medical publications. This project will develop tools that focus directly on large-scale identification and gathering of various types of reliable experimental evidence of DDI from diverse sources. The successful completion of the project will provide clinicians and biologists with substantiated knowledge about drug interactions and with informatics tools to obtain such information on a large-scale, laying the basis for preventing adverse drug reactions and for exploring alternative treatments.