Actigraphy Enables Home Screening of Rapid Eye Movement Behavior Disorder in Parkinson's Disease

Ann Neurol. 2023 Feb;93(2):317-329. doi: 10.1002/ana.26517. Epub 2022 Oct 20.


Objectives: Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a potentially harmful, often overlooked sleep disorder affecting up to 70% of Parkinson's disease patients. Current diagnosis relies on nocturnal video-polysomnography, which is an expensive and cumbersome examination requiring specific clinical expertise. Here, we explored the use of wrist actigraphy to enable automatic RBD diagnoses in home settings.

Methods: A total of 26 Parkinson's disease patients underwent 2-week home wrist actigraphy, followed by two in-laboratory evaluations. Patients were classified as RBD versus non-RBD based on dream enactment history and video-polysomnography. We comprehensively characterized patients' movement patterns during sleep using actigraphic signals. We then trained machine learning classification algorithms to discriminate patients with or without RBD using the most relevant features. Classification performance was quantified with respect to clinical diagnosis, separately for in-laboratory and at-home recordings. Performance was further validated in a control group of non-Parkinson's disease patients with other sleep conditions.

Results: To characterize RBD, actigraphic features extracted from both (1) individual movement episodes and (2) global nocturnal activity were critical. RBD patients were more active overall, and showed movements that were shorter, of higher magnitude, and more scattered in time. Using these features, our classification algorithms reached an accuracy of 92.9 ± 8.16% during in-clinic tests. When validated on home recordings in Parkinson's disease patients, accuracy reached 100% over a 2-week window, and was 94.4% in non-Parkinson's disease control patients. Features showed robustness across tests and conditions.

Interpretation: These results open new perspectives for faster, cheaper, and more regular screening of sleep disorders, both for routine clinical practice and clinical trials. ANN NEUROL 2023;93:317-329.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnosis
  • Polysomnography
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Sleep, REM