Method to Quantify Parkinsonian Motor Signs for Interventional Drug Trials
Improved Biomarkers and Clinical Outcome Measures, 2015
Study Rationale: † † † † † † † † ††
Current methods to evaluate motor impairments in Parkinsonís disease rely on subjective examinations. Our team seeks to develop an objective assessment of motor deficits by monitoring natural interactions with a keyboard (on a computer or smart device). This approach provides a window to how the brain behaves during typical daily use of these devices (e.g. writing a report or sending an email) and thus has the potential to be used easily and regularly.
The motor response to treatments used for Parkinsonís can be detected measuring finger movements while using an electronic device.
We will evaluate newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease patients who are prescribed dopaminergic medication by their neurologist. Each participant will use their digital device for the duration of the study and will have a thorough motor examination at three time points. With our technology we plan to detect a motor change induced by these medications as accurately as the standard tests used currently. Importantly, the data gathered are non-sensitive and based only on timing information.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinsonís Disease: † † † † † ††
Our project has the potential to facilitate the development of therapies for Parkinson's disease by providing objective measurements that reflect more accurately the degree of motor impairment. This technology can be widely deployed, is non-intrusive and suitable for routine monitoring. Thus, this enabling technology will allow the drug response to be objectively quantified and routinely monitored with a minimal effort and maximized compliance from the patient and physician side.
Next Steps for Development:
After this study, we plan to test this same technology in a drug trial to see if the expected benefits are confirmed.
J.W. Kieckhefer Professor of Medical and Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States