A novel device for continuous monitoring of tremor and other motor symptoms

Abstract

The clinical assessment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms is typically performed with neurological examinations and simple motor tests. However, this only takes into account the severity of motor symptoms during the length of the recording and fails to capture variations in a patient’s motor state, which change continuously during the day. Most of the current methods for long-term monitoring of extrapyramidal symptoms are based on the use of a wearable magneto-inertial device that evaluates the frequential content of signals in the range of movement disorders. However, the typical daily motor activities performed by patients may have a power spectrum into the same range of motor symptoms, and habitual activity may be indistinguishable from that due to movement disorders. In this work, we report a new device and method for the continuous and long-term monitoring of tremor due to PD and other movement disorders to reduce the probability of mistaking the discrimination between extrapyramidal symptoms and normal daily activity. The method is based on the evaluation of frequential data content from multi-axial sensors and on the identification of specific movement patterns that Parkinsonian and extrapyramidal symptoms are typically associated with. In this study, 16 patients with movement disorders were recruited. While results need to be extended with further studies and clinical trials, the proposed device appears promising and suitable for the use as part of clinical trials and routine clinical practice for supporting the evaluation of motor symptoms, disease progression, and the quantification of therapeutic effects

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Correspondence to Luigi Battista.

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Conflict of interest

Eng. Luigi Battista is the inventor and, to date, holds intellectual property rights of an Italian patent and has filed for a patent related to a wearable system for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Antonietta Romaniello has nothing to disclose.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Electronic supplementary material

Supplementary Material reports a preliminary evaluation of the proposed method with experimental trials carried out with both normal patients (controls) and patients with motor symptoms (cases), together with a preliminary and exemplifying assessment of the performances on sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the proposed method.

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Battista, L., Romaniello, A. A novel device for continuous monitoring of tremor and other motor symptoms. Neurol Sci 39, 1333–1343 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-018-3414-2

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Keywords

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Accelerometer
  • Wearable technology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Movement disorders