Background: With recent advances in the search for disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD) the importance of identifying prodromal markers becomes greater. Non-manifesting LRRK2 mutation carriers (NMC) are at risk for developing PD, and provide a population in which to identify possible markers.
Objective: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that NMC have differences in daily activity, fragmentation of sleep, arm swing asymmetry, and movement variability during walking, detectable by actigraphy, as compared to matched control subjects.
Methods: Eleven NMC, fourteen PD patients (4 LRRK2-PD, 10 idiopathic PD (iPD)), and twenty-nine controls wore wristbands containing an accelerometer for seven days, and performed a daily walking task. Outcome measures included daily activity, fragmentation of activity, fragmentation of sleep, arm swing asymmetry during walking, and intra-individual variability.
Results: Compared to healthy controls, both NMC and LRRK2/iPD showed higher intra-individual variability in activity during walking compared to healthy controls. Individuals with LRRK2-PD/iPD, but not NMC, tend to have lower activity levels, more arm swing asymmetry and less increase of arm swing with transition from slow to faster walking speed compared to healthy controls.
Conclusion: Higher intra-individual variability of gait-associated movements might be a useful biomarker of prodromal PD. These results encourage replication in a larger sample and longitudinal analysis is warranted.
Keywords: Actigraphy; LRRK2 mutation; Parkinson’s disease, variability of gait; high risk Parkinson; non-manifestingLRRK2 carrier.