Feature selection for accelerometer-based posture analysis in Parkinson's disease

IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2011 May;15(3):481-90. doi: 10.1109/TITB.2011.2107916. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Posture analysis in quiet standing is a key component of the clinical evaluation of Parkinson's disease (PD), postural instability being one of PD's major symptoms. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of using accelerometers to characterize the postural behavior of early mild PD subjects. Twenty PD and 20 control subjects, wearing an accelerometer on the lower back, were tested in five conditions characterized by sensory and attentional perturbation. A total of 175 measures were computed from the signals to quantify tremor, acceleration, and displacement of body sway. Feature selection was implemented to identify the subsets of measures that better characterize the distinctive behavior of PD and control subjects. It was based on different classifiers and on a nested cross validation, to maximize robustness of selection with respect to changes in the training set. Several subsets of three features achieved misclassification rates as low as 5%. Many of them included a tremor-related measure, a postural measure in the frequency domain, and a postural displacement measure. Results suggest that quantitative posture analysis using a single accelerometer and a simple test protocol may provide useful information to characterize early PD subjects. This protocol is potentially usable to monitor the disease's progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration*
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures / instrumentation
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / classification
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*