A wearable tool for continuous monitoring of movement disorders: clinical assessment and comparison with tremor scores

Abstract

Background

The current gold standard for evaluating normal and impaired motor performances includes the use of the information provided by the patient and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). However, clinical rating scales are typically subjective and their time-limited duration may fail to capture daily fluctuations in motor symptoms resulting from Parkinson’s disease. Recently, a new tool has been proposed for objective and continuous assessment of movement disorders based on the evaluation of frequential data content from multi-axial sensors and the identification of specific movement patterns typically associated with disorders. This reduces the probability of confusing physiological or pathological movements occurring at the same frequency with a different movement pattern. However, the data provided by the tool have not yet been compared with the information provided by the typically used clinical rating scales.

Objectives

The aim of this work is to investigate the possible relationship between UPRDS scores and the information provided by the tool for continuous and long-term monitoring.

Materials and methods

In this study, 20 patients with hand tremor were recruited. The UPDRS scoring was performed by a neurologist. Then, continuous monitoring was performed; data were acquired by means of the proposed wrist-worn-device “PD-Watch” for 24 h and then processed in order to get information and indexes on motor symptoms. Finally, these indexes were correlated to the UPDRS scores.

Results

Results show that the concise indexes provided by the tool correlate well with some items in UPDRS Part III, and this correlation has allowed to provide a more direct and immediate meaning to the values of the concise indexes detected by the tool.

Conclusions

While results need to be extended with further studies, this can be considered useful information in the context of clinical trials and routine clinical practice for assessing motor symptoms and movement disorders.

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Correspondence to Luigi Battista.

Ethics declarations

Research involving human participants and/or animals

Yes, human participants. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Basilicata, Italy.

Informed consent

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

Conflict of interest

Eng. Luigi Battista holds intellectual property rights for a wearable system for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Antonietta Romaniello has nothing to disclose.

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Battista, L., Romaniello, A. A wearable tool for continuous monitoring of movement disorders: clinical assessment and comparison with tremor scores. Neurol Sci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05120-6

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Keywords

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