Electromyography Signals as Biomarkers for Parkinsonís Disease
Rapid Response Innovation Awards, 2014
A simple, painless and reliable method to detect Parkinsonís disease at an early stage is very important to patients, doctors and researchers. Doctors want to help patients early, and scientists want to select patients for their research who will help in development of better drugs. We hope that the changes in electrical activity of hand muscles during handwriting will help in early detection of this disease.
This study will use the analysis of electrical activity recorded from hand muscles during handwriting and at rest. There will be two groups of subjects: early Parkinsonís disease patients and healthy people. The researcher analyzing the recorded data will not know who is a patient and who is healthy, as subjects will be identified only by numbers. Healthy volunteers will be of similar age as patients. In the course of this study, various properties of hand muscle electrical activity will be examined, and results will be verified by third party.
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinsonís disease:
Conducting a ďblindĒ study on a larger population of patients will provide essential results, which will show whether or not this method can potentially be established as a standard in diagnostics. It is also expected that this method will accelerate development of new treatments by providing an objective way to measure the effects of the new drugs.
The main benefit of such a simple and pain-free method will be more accurate early detection of Parkinsonís disease. This will also allow medical doctors and researchers to learn more about the early stages of the disease.
We tested if electromyography (EMG), a diagnostic tool that measures electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles, was able to significantly discriminate PD subjects from controls during a writing exercise. Our study was able to differentiate PD subjects were in an ďoffĒ state. EMG also seems to behave as a good marker for levodopa efficacy (from OFF to ON state). This methodology has potential to be helpful in selecting subjects for clinical trials, adjusting medication and dosage for patients, and studying the mechanisms of Parkinsonís disease.
Presentations & Publications
On April 1, 2015 Michael Linderman presented his methodology and the results of this study to the members of Parkinsonís Support Group in Kingston, Ontario.
President and Chief Scientist at Norconnect Inc.
Location: Ogdensburg, New York, United States
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