A New Wrist-Worn Tool Supporting the Diagnosis of Parkinsonian Motor Syndromes

Sensors (Basel). 2024 Mar 19;24(6):1965. doi: 10.3390/s24061965.

Abstract

To date, clinical expert opinion is the gold standard diagnostic technique for Parkinson's disease (PD), and continuous monitoring is a promising candidate marker. This study assesses the feasibility and performance of a new wearable tool for supporting the diagnosis of Parkinsonian motor syndromes. The proposed method is based on the use of a wrist-worn measuring system, the execution of a passive, continuous recording session, and a computation of two digital biomarkers (i.e., motor activity and rest tremor index). Based on the execution of some motor tests, a second step is provided for the confirmation of the results of passive recording. In this study, fifty-nine early PD patients and forty-one healthy controls were recruited. The results of this study show that: (a) motor activity was higher in controls than in PD with slight tremors at rest and did not significantly differ between controls and PD with mild-to-moderate tremor rest; (b) the tremor index was smaller in controls than in PD with mild-to-moderate tremor rest and did not significantly differ between controls and PD patients with slight tremor rest; (c) the combination of the said two motor parameters improved the performances in differentiating controls from PD. These preliminary findings demonstrate that the combination of said two digital biomarkers allowed us to differentiate controls from early PD.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; accelerometer; digital biomarkers; digital health; wearable technology.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnosis
  • Tremor* / diagnosis
  • Upper Extremity
  • Wrist

Substances

  • Biomarkers

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.