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A smartphone-based system to quantify dexterity in Parkinson's disease patients

Journal article
Authors S. Aghanavesi
D. Nyholm
M. Senek
Filip Bergquist
M. Memedi
Published in Informatics in Medicine Unlocked
Volume 9
Pages 11-17
ISSN 2352-9148
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 11-17
Language en
Links 10.1016/j.imu.2017.05.005
Keywords Bradykinesia, Dyskinesia, Motor assessment, Objective measures, Parkinson's disease, Smartphone, Spiral tests, Tapping tests, Telemedicine
Subject categories Neurology


Objectives The aim of this paper is to investigate whether a smartphone-based system can be used to quantify dexterity in Parkinson's disease (PD). More specifically, the aim was to develop data-driven methods to quantify and characterize dexterity in PD. Methods Nineteen advanced PD patients and 22 healthy controls participated in a clinical trial in Uppsala, Sweden. The subjects were asked to perform tapping and spiral drawing tests using a smartphone. Patients performed the tests before, and at pre-specified time points after they received 150% of their usual levodopa morning dose. Patients were video recorded and their motor symptoms were assessed by three movement disorder specialists using three Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor items from part III, the dyskinesia scoring and the treatment response scale (TRS). The raw tapping and spiral data were processed and analyzed with time series analysis techniques to extract 37 spatiotemporal features. For each of the five scales, separate machine learning models were built and tested by using principal components of the features as predictors and mean ratings of the three specialists as target variables. Results There were weak to moderate correlations between smartphone-based scores and mean ratings of UPDRS item #23 (0.52; finger tapping), UPDRS #25 (0.47; rapid alternating movements of hands), UPDRS #31 (0.57; body bradykinesia and hypokinesia), sum of the three UPDRS items (0.46), dyskinesia (0.64), and TRS (0.59). When assessing the test-retest reliability of the scores it was found that, in general, the clinical scores had better test-retest reliability than the smartphone-based scores. Only the smartphone-based predicted scores on the TRS and dyskinesia scales had good repeatability with intra-class correlation coefficients of 0.51 and 0.84, respectively. Clinician-based scores had higher effect sizes than smartphone-based scores indicating a better responsiveness in detecting changes in relation to treatment interventions. However, the first principal component of the 37 features was able to capture changes throughout the levodopa cycle and had trends similar to the clinical TRS and dyskinesia scales. Smartphone-based scores differed significantly between patients and healthy controls. Conclusions Quantifying PD motor symptoms via instrumented, dexterity tests employed in a smartphone is feasible and data from such tests can also be used for measuring treatment-related changes in patients. © 2017

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