Despite advances in treatment approaches to Parkinson’s disease over the past 20 years, patient assessment methods have advanced little during this same period. Therefore, a patient’s motor function may not be optimized and cognitive deficits and depression, prevalent even in the early stages of PD, may go unrecognized and untreated. The goal of this project is to develop a remote method of assessing motor and cognitive function of Parkinson’s disease patients.
We will develop cognitive and motor test batteries that can be completed electronically during a routine clinical examination and internet versions of these batteries. For the initial validation study, data will be collected from 100 mild to moderate PD patients as they complete the cognitive and motor tests during an in-person clinical examination and remotely using the internet. Cognitive and motor data gathered from in-person clinical and remote methods of data collection will be compared with standard clinical measures of motor function (e.g. Unified Parkinson’s disease Rating Scale).
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
The capability to accurately assess cognitive and motor function of Parkinson’s disease patients remotely offers the opportunity to objectively track the progression of the disease. Furthermore, the effectiveness of adjustments in medication or experimental interventions used in clinical trials can be expanded through more frequent assessments of cognitive and motor function, without requiring the patient to return to their clinician.
We plan to develop a remote method of assessing cognitive and motor function of Parkinson’s disease patients that is valid and user-friendly for patients and clinicians. The development and validation of an online method of assessment is particularly important for those patients who may be living in a rural area or area with limited access to qualified movement disorders neurologists.
Data continue to be collected to assess the efficacy of using online collection methods to assess the cognitive and motor functioning of Parkinson's disease patients. To date, data have been collected from 50 patients.